The Columns

W&L’s Generalprobe presents “Die Gänsemagd” (“The Goose Girl”)

— by on January 18th, 2017

“At least one German play has been performed every academic year for 25 years. The quarter-century mark of German drama at W&L is being celebrated under the name of Generalprobe.”

On Jan. 26 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Theater at the Lenfest Center, Generalprobe will celebrate 25 years of German language theater at Washington and Lee University with the production of an original Singspiel.

Singspiel is a form of German light opera, typically with spoken dialogue, popular especially in the late 18th century. This Singspiel is based on the Grimm Brothers’ tale “Die Gänsemagd” (“The Goose Girl”).

“Die Gänsemagd” will be sung in German with English supertitles projected. The synopsis is included in the program. The production is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, but seating may be limited.

Generalprobe’s 2013 performance

Director Roger Crockett, professor of German at W&L, wrote the libretto and composed the music for the production, which features four guest artists from Opera Roanoke’s Young Apprentice Artist Program performing together with W&L students and faculty members.

“Generalprobe is a German word for dress rehearsal. When I began directing German plays at W&L, I wanted a catchy name that we could keep from year to year for continuity as students graduated and new ones came into the program,” said Crockett.

“At least one German play has been performed every academic year for 25 years. The quarter-century mark of German drama at W&L is being celebrated under the name of Generalprobe,” he said. “Almost all German majors and minors perform at least once during their four years here.  Many perform multiple times.”

Anna Piperato, tour guide for Rick Steves’ Europe, to speak on 14th-Century Mystic Catherine of Siena

— by on January 18th, 2017

Anna Piperato

Anna Piperato, tour guide for Rick Steves’ Europe and a freelance translator (formerly IES Abroad-Siena), will give a talk at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. Rick Steves is America’s leading authority on European travel.

Piperato will speak on “The Many Faces of Catherine of Siena: 14th-Century Mystic, Political Activist…Trouble.” The talk is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Italian Studies Cohort and the Department of History.

Prior to her current position, Piperato taught at IES Siena, was assistant professor of art history at High Point University and visiting professor of Sienese history at Villanova University at Fondazione IES Abroad Italy in Siena, Italy.

She is the author of “Diaro di un’americana” in “Romolo & Remo: Periodico della Contrada della Lupa” (2011) and “The Palio of Siena: A Journey through Time” (2017), a book chapter for inclusion in a volume edited by Sarah Lippert.

Piperato received her B.A. in art history from Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, and her Ph.D. in art history and visual studies from The University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K. She  resides in Siena, Italy.

McCarthy Gallery Exhibit to Feature Stephanie Sandberg’s “Stories in Blue”

— by on January 18th, 2017

W&L theater professor Stephanie SandbergW&L theater professor Stephanie Sandberg

A new exhibit-installation, directed by Stephanie Sandberg, will be on display in McCarthy Gallery of Holekamp Hall at the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University beginning Jan. 26.

The show opens with an artist’s talk and reception on Jan. 26 from 5:30-7 p.m. and runs through May 31. The talk, reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

“Stories in Blue” is based on the real-life stories of six human trafficking survivors from Michigan. Sandberg spent a year interviewing survivors and learning about their experiences, crafting these into a series of films, a photographic installation and a live performance.

This project is a response to the high rate of human trafficking in Michigan, which Sandberg noticed while she lived there. Michigan, as well as Virginia, both rank in the top 10 states where sex trafficking is a major societal problem. “There is much work to do to raise awareness about this problem and the stories need to be addressed as a significant source of knowledge and inspiration for how the change might occur,” said Sandburg.

“Stories in Blue” features original music by Theo Ndwallie II, original photography by Ryan Spencer-Reed, with text and direction by Sandberg, who is an assistant professor of theater at W&L.

The McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Anthropology Professor at Notre Dame Will Discuss International Migration across the Mediterranean Sea

— by on January 18th, 2017

Maurizio Albahari (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

Maurizio Albahari, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, will give a public talk at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 1 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

He will speak on “Crimes of Peace: Methods and Ethics of European Responses to Mediterranean Migrations.” The talk is free and open to the public.

This event is part of the Center for Global Learning’s Borders and Their Human Impact series, sponsored jointly by the Italian Studies Faculty Cohort.

Borders and Their Human Impact is a two-year faculty colloquium sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The colloquium addresses the concept of borders and border crossings from a variety of perspectives that tie humanity to political, geophysical, physiological, epistemological and spiritual borders.

“In my talk, I will discuss international migration across the Mediterranean Sea, and tackle the latest developments in this crisis of humanity,” said Albahari. “An analysis of the practices put forward by institutional and coastal European actors sheds light on how this crisis is being perpetuated or mitigated,” he continued.

Albarari is the author of “Crimes of Peace: Mediterranean Migrations at the World’s Deadliest Border” (2015). He says, “‘Crimes of Peace’ scrutinizes global fault lines critically reemerging in the Mediterranean: between Europe, Africa and the Middle East; military and humanitarian intervention; Catholic charity, hospitality and police detention; transnational smuggling and resilient sovereignty; the universal law of the sea and the proliferating thresholds of a globally parochial world.”

Albahari is also a concurrent associate professor with the Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame and a faculty fellow with Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

Jennifer Golbeck to Discuss the Digital Traces People Leave Behind

— by on January 18th, 2017

“Whether it’s using social media, shopping online or just existing in today’s digital world, we leave behind extensive digital traces. New artificial intelligence allows scientists use that data to discover your hidden secrets and predict your future actions with startling accuracy.”

Jennifer Golbeck, associate professor in the College of Information Studies and affiliate associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland where she is also the director of the Social Intelligence, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Feb. 2 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.

Jennifer Golbeck

She will speak on “Footprints in the Digital Dust: How Your Online Behavior Says More Than You Think.” Her talk is free and open to the public.

Her lecture is part of the year-long series on Markets and Morals and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

“Whether it’s using social media, shopping online or just existing in today’s digital world, we leave behind extensive digital traces. New artificial intelligence allows scientists use that data to discover your hidden secrets and predict your future actions with startling accuracy,” said Golbeck. “These insights are powerful, and have the potential to help us in new, exciting ways, but also have the potential to do great harm.

“In my talk, I’ll discuss what’s going on, what comes next and what you can do to control your privacy as technology marches forward,” she continued.

Golbeck is the author of “Introduction to Social Media Investigation” (2015); “Analyzing the Social Web” (2013); “Computing with Social Trust” (2008); and “Art Theory for Web Design” (2005).

Her main research interests are in understanding how people use social media to improve the way they interact with information. She approaches this from a computer science perspective and her general research hits social networks, trust, web science, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.

Michael Hill to Lecture on “‘American Dreamin’: Adolescence in the Black Imagination”

— by on January 16th, 2017

“Hill’s work is expansive and insightful. He is equally at home analyzing literature, hip hop music, crime and pulp fiction, and cultural history.”

Michael Hill

Michael Hill, associate professor of English at the University of Iowa, will deliver a public lecture on “‘American Dreamin’: Adolescence in the Black Imagination” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in Hillel House Multipurpose Room.

His lecture is part of this year’s celebration of the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. (Event Schedule). His talk is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee and the Division of Student Affairs.

Hill is a scholar of African-American and American literature and culture.  His research interests include post-World War II African-American culture, with a particular focus on post-Harlem Renaissance literature. Hill says of his work “it explores how black creative styles reveal the challenges of creating a multiracial democracy.”

His first book, “The Ethics of Swagger: Prizewinning African-American Novels, 1977-1993,” examined novels that received literary prizes in the late 20th century and thereby conferred an aesthetic and political independence on their authors.  His current project, in his words, “considers the ways that adolescence recurs as a generative metaphor in black creative expression.”

“Hill’s work is expansive and insightful,” said Marc Conner, W&L professor of English and interim provost. “He is equally at home analyzing literature, hip hop music, crime and pulp fiction, and cultural history. I’m delighted we can bring him to W&L to lecture and teach our students.”

Award-Winning British writer Nikesh Shukla to lecture on “The Good Immigrant: Writing, Activism and the Importance of Representation”

— by on January 9th, 2017

“In a global environment in which the world is preoccupied with immigrants, national sovereignty, identity politics and the economic and political forces that give rise to refugees seeking new homelands, Shukla’s work could not be more timely.”

Award-winning British writer Nikesh Shukla will lecture on “The Good Immigrant: Writing, Activism and the Importance of Representation” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. The talk is free and open to the public.

This event will kick off the winter 2017 schedule of speakers of the 2016-18 Center for International Education Colloquium on Borders and Their Human Impact, with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information on upcoming events in the Colloquium, please visit: https://www.wlu.edu/center-for-international-education/events/colloquium-on-borders-and-their-human-impact.

Nikesh Shukla

Shukla, who has long championed diversity in publishing and literary life, is the editor of “The Good Immigrant, a 21-essay collection by emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic, writers and artists.

“In a global environment in which the world is preoccupied with immigrants, national sovereignty, identity politics and the economic and political forces that give rise to refugees seeking new homelands, Shukla’s work could not be more timely,” said Mark Rush, Waxburg Professor of Politics and director of International Education. “Shukla discusses these topics from the perspective of the UK. His work strikes at the heart of matters concerning identity, ethnicity and citizenship.

“What makes someone British or American? Is it where you were born? To whom? When? When do bad immigrants become good and vice versa, in the public eye? Shukla’s work and public will appeal to anyone interested in these issues or global politics more generally,” Rush continued.

Shukla’s novels, “Coconut Unlimited” and “Meatspace;” his novella, “The Time Machine;” as well as his short stories and essays have been featured in Best British Short Stories, Esquire, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio, Daily Mail and The New Statesman. He has been writer in residence for BBC Asian Network and Royal Festival Hall.

He authored the comedy, “Kabadasses,” for the U.K. Channel 4 Comedy Lab and co-wrote the award-winning short film, “Two Dosas.” He hosts The Subaltern podcast, featuring conversations with writers such as Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Teju Cole, James Salter, George Saunders, Jennifer Egan, Evie Wyld, Sam Bain, Alex Preston, Colson Whitehead and James Smythe.

Award-Winning Actress and Playwright Sylvia Milo to Perform “The Other Mozart” at W&L’s Lenfest Center

— by on January 9th, 2017

Sylvia Milo

Through the generosity of the Ruth E. Flournoy Theater Endowment, the Washington and Lee Department of Theater, Dance, and Film Studies will present Little Matchstick Factory’s “The Other Mozart,” written and performed by Sylvia Milo.

“The Other Mozart” comes to the Lenfest Center for a one-night engagement on Jan. 21, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in the Keller Theatre.

The story of 11-year old Nannerl Mozart, musical genius, keyboard virtuoso and older sister of Amadeus, is brought to life by the talents of Milo in a performance that highlights the musical aspirations of Maria Anna, nicknamed Nannerl by her parents.

In this one-woman presentation, inspired by the letters exchanged within the Mozart family, Nannerl shares the story of her life with her childhood performances alongside her younger brother.

Her abilities were noted by the Augsburger Intelligenz in 1763: “Imagine an eleven-year-old girl, performing the most difficult sonatas and concertos of the greatest composers, on the harpsichord or fortepiano, with precision, with incredible lightness, with impeccable taste. It was a source of wonder to many.”

Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center or call the Lenfest box office at 458- 8000 for ticket information. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and will be open 2 hours prior to performance time.

Pianist Ting-Ting Yen and Cellist Isaac Melamed to Perform at The Lenfest Center

— by on January 9th, 2017

Ting-Ting Yen

The Lenfest Center for the Arts at Washington and Lee University presents pianist Ting-Ting Yen and her husband, cellist Isaac Melamed. They will perform two works in the cello/piano repertoire, the Brahms “Cello Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38” and the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19.”

The one-night performance is at the Lenfest Center on Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall. No tickets are required and admission is free.

Yen performs and teaches as both a violinist and a pianist. She joined the faculty of Washington and Lee University as an accompanist in 2015.

As a violinist, she has performed with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and has toured with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. She has been a member of the violin section of the New Mexico Philharmonic. She was also a violin faculty member at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp.

As a pianist, Yen was the resident accompanist at Bravo! Music Festival and a teacher at Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis. She is currently the music director at Warm Springs Presbyterian Church in Bath County.

Melamed has toured nationally as a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. Since joining the Garth Newel Piano Quartet in 2014, they have performed throughout Croatia, at the Chautauqua Institution and around much of Virginia and West Virginia.

He studied with Grammy Award-winning cellist Antonio Lysy in Los Angeles, where he played with the UCLA Philharmonia, Symphony Orchestras and the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra. He participated in Manhattan School of Music’s prestigious Orchestral Performance program including multiple performances in Carnegie Hall and in Amsterdam.

Author and Poet Susan Briante To Read from “The Market Wonders”

— by on January 6th, 2017

Susan Briante

Susan Briante, author, poet and associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Arizona, will lecture on “The Market Wonders: On the Impossibility of (Personal) Accounting” at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 24, 2017, at 5 p.m. in the Hillel House Multipurpose Room. The talk is free and open to the public.

Her lecture is part of the year-long series on Markets and Morals and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics. For more information about this series, see: https://www.wlu.edu/mudd-center/programs-and-events/2016-2017-markets-and-morals.

Briante will read from “The Market Wonders,” a lyric investigation into the stock market, and talk about its writing as a response to the 2008 financial crisis. She will also discuss the ways in which poetry offers models for understanding lived experience under neoliberalism as well as for tracking possibilities of individual complicity and resistance.

“The Market Wonders” was a finalist for the National Poetry Series, and the Kenyon Review calls it “masterful at every turn.” Briante is also the author of the poetry collections “Utopia Minus” (2011) and “Pioneers in the Study of Motion” (2007).

Briante has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund and the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture. New work has been published in Gulf CoastBlack Warrior ReviewGuernica and The Progressive.

Her research and teaching interests include poetry and poetics, cross-genre writing, experimental autobiography, documentary studies, affect theory and translation.