Associate Professor of Film Studies Tricia Welsch talks about her book Gloria Swanson: Ready for Her Close-Up with Associate Professor of English and Film Studies Aviva Briefel (director of Bowdoin’s film studies program).
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey H’13 will appear on The Ellen Show today. After a decade of portraying fictional Bowdoin grad Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on television, Dempsey — a Lewiston native known for his philanthropic work in Maine — was awarded an honorary degree from the College during Reunion Convocation last June. Word on the street is that Dempsey will talk about Bowdoin during today’s show.
Students, professors and community members gathered in Beam Classroom, Visual Arts Center, for a Sept. 18 talk on Spanish Renaissance theater by Susan L. Fischer, professor emerita of Spanish and comparative literature at Bucknell University. Fischer’s lecture focused on the ever-evolving performances of plays such as La Celestina (The Go-Between, 1499) and El Médico de su honra (The Physician of His Honor, 1635), which have been reinterpreted many times since they were first written.
“It was great for students to learn about contemporary stagings of the plays,” said Professor of Romance Languages Margaret Boyle, who teaches some of the same material in her classroom. As Fischer explained, the evolution in Golden Age Spanish theater performance has been largely tied to technology. For instance, modern lighting, stages, and visual effects have freed theater performances from the influences of weather and time of day, and broadened the scope of theatrical interpretation.
Fischer noted, however, that some changes have made performances more restrictive. One case in point: noise from the audience used to be encouraged, whereas theatergoers today are told to silence their cellphones and keep quiet. Through her exploration of the work of modern directors such as Adolfo Marsillach, Fischer prompted the audience to reflect on the good and the bad that has come with the evolution of theater performance over the centuries.
By Amanda Spiller ’17
With Nick Walker ’16 on guitar, vocals and percussion, Jacob Ellis ’16 on banjo and piano, and James Sullivan ’16 on bass guitar, the trio specializes in folk covers and original songs with a distinctly poetic flair. Read the Q&A with the musicians here.
Adam Gopnik, a writer for The New Yorker, laments the ebbing allure of the English major: “The English major is vanishing from our colleges as the Latin prerequisite vanished before it, we’re told, a dying choice bound to a dead subject.”
Even worse are some common defenses for studying English, which come in two varieties: one insisting that English majors make better people, the other that they make for better societies. Neither claim stands up against the historical evidence, Gopnik argues. “Victorian factory owners read Dickens, but it didn’t make Victorian factories nicer.”
Instead, Gopnik says the best reason to offer an English major is because many people like books, and “English departments democratize the practice of reading. When they do, they make the books of the past available to all.”
Gopnik goes on to say that an “entirely utilitarian, production-oriented view of human purpose” is more or less insane. “We cannot merely produce goods and services as efficiently as we can, sell them to each other as cheaply as possible, and die. Some idea of symbolic purpose, of pleasure-seeking rather than rent seeking, of Doing Something Else, is essential to human existence. …We need the humanities not because they will produce shrewder entrepreneurs or kinder C.E.O.s but because…they help us enjoy life more and endure it better. The reason we need the humanities is because we’re human. That’s enough.”
In his Game Theory column in The Wall Street Journal, Adam Najberg ’90 waxes eloquent about the 25th birthday of Madden, the ultimate video game franchise for football lovers. Najberg brings a bit of context to the game’s 1988 appearance by mentioning the moustache he was sporting at the time, as a sophomore at Bowdoin.
The long list of names on the banner is just one-third of the year’s total employers, according to Todd Hermann, associate director of employer relations. “You’ll see a vast array of career fields represented,” Hermann said, such as marketing, banking, politics, law, education, medicine, environmental work, scientific research and the arts.
Hermann added that the banners are a focal point for campus tours and that this one will be seen by at least 10,000 people throughout the year. “I think it is an impressive indicator of the value the world puts on a liberal arts education,” he said. Read the banner’s list of employers here.
People with mobile devices can download the free app to discover musicians playing within 200 kilometers of their location. They can also buy tickets through the app and invite friends to join them by sending along a music sample via text or email. Tamber gets a cut of the ticket price. Read the full story.
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