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Reblogged from: Friends of the Davison Art Center. (Go to the original post…)

Written by FDAC Board Member Sharifa T. Lookman ’17

I have been living in Florence, Italy for just over two weeks now where I am studying abroad through the Syracuse University Florence Center. Despite this short time, I have already managed to get lost on nearly every occasion, learn how to down an Italian espresso with limited wincing, and perfect the art of eating two plates of pasta daily. Not to mention, of course, seeing some of the most amazing art and architecture in human history.

Being here is an art historian’s dream. I am surrounded by a cultural history come alive with renowned relics studied in text books that are suddenly real, tangible objects. Arriving here as a student, I felt internal pressure to see, touch, smell, and document everything as part of this special intellectual experience.

florence-515701_640I came prepared for my very first site visit — a trip to Santa Maria Novella — notebook in hand and camera ready in my front pocket. I was ready for an “academic lesson.” Upon entering, however, I was anything but poised or enlightened. I was downright overwhelmed. Though not monumental in scale, Santa Maria Novella’s grandeur and semblance to diagrams in my history books unbalanced me as it contextualized the sheer history of the architecture and its decoration. This was unlike any museum exhibition as the works were in situ, not in labeled frames orientated for modern viewership.

Masaccio_-_Trinity_-_WGA14208I was in awe, stopped in my tracks, when we paused in front of Masaccio’s The Holy Trinity, a 15th century fresco that I had studied numerous times. But in the moment, I could not recall any specifics from my professor’s lecture nor did I take a single note or snap a single photograph. When my professor posed questions, my mind went blank. It was as though I’d finally met my favorite celebrity, standing in the spot where they’d written their first hit, but couldn’t remember their name! At this point the sheer enormity of Florence’s artistic collection truly hit me.

I left the visit convinced that the amount of art here was too overwhelming and it would be impossible to even begin to see them all or digest their significance. Suddenly Florence was much too large and the expectations and objectives of myself as an art history major in the birthplace of the Renaissance were too many. I took out my calendar and made a list of every site I had to see and when, convinced that I would conquer it with proper planning.

Such was my philosophy until I took a day trip to Assisi last weekend. We arrived in the early morning and were greeted by a picturesque rainbow above the hilltop town. In addition to touring the basilica, we roamed the town and country hills. Perhaps it was the chilled air or maybe the romantic scenery, but for the first time since I had arrived in Italy I let a breath out and truly reveled in the beauty of a new place.

I will meet Donatello, Brunelleschi, and all their friends in time, but meanwhile they will keep waiting and Florence will reveal itself slowly. The city will give me gifts of patience and sight, introducing me to the artistic masterpieces of the Renaissance and the cultural ingredients that inspired them.

assisilandscape  assisidoorway

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

PKH photo 11.17.14Has the American government been paralyzed by obsolete law?

Philip K. Howard, author of The Death of Common Sense and The Rule of Nobody (and a three-time guest on The Daily Show), argues that we must clean out old laws and programs in order to meet today’s challenges. Howard will visit Wesleyan on Wednesday, February 4 to discuss the effects of living in an the overly-litigious society and how we might begin to untangle our increasingly dense legal system.

The talk will be held at 4:30 PM in PAC 002 and is sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

allb_small

Are unpaid internships exploitative, or is free labor a fair trade for a learning experience? Why do businesses and organizations hire unpaid interns, and should students accept these positions? Who wins and loses in a society where unpaid internships are permitted?

We will consider these questions and more over pizza on Friday, January 30 at Allbritton Talks, a new conversation series addressing current events, controversial issues, and the enduring questions of public life. If you’ve got a hot-button issue or ethical quandary you’d like to pick apart as a group, send your suggestions to Civic Engagement Fellow Rosy Capron at scapron@wesleyan.edu.

This event is sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

manesMotion

If you love horses and want others to experience the joys of riding as well, contact the Manes & Motion Therapeutic Riding Center about volunteering with their programs. This Middletown-based not-for-profit aims to enhance the well-being of individuals living with physical, emotional and/or cognitive special needs through the benefits of equine-assisted activities. Volunteers are needed to assist the participants, serve as side walkers or leaders, and do valuable behind-the-scenes work like caring for the horses, maintaining the facility, and helping with fundraising events or office tasks. To get involved, contact Sarah Hallwood by calling 860-685-0008 or emailing m&mvolunteercoordinator@hfsc.org

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

tutorinfo

Tutoring kids in the community is a great way to make a difference in someone’s life while also forming new friendships and brushing up on your pre-algebra skills. There are seven student-run tutoring programs in Wesleyan’s Office of Community Service — including two *new* programs recently awarded generous grants — and a few other groups on campus are also working to connect college students with local youth. Come to Thursday’s info session at 7 pm in PAC 002 to learn about all of these programs at once!

Beginning this semester, you can get in touch with every tutoring group by filling out just one form. To sign up, use the “OCS Registration Process” form on the OrgSync page for the Center for Community Partnerships. Students granted federal work-study can be paid for their participation in any OCS literacy group.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

Join representatives from the Wesleyan Sustainability Office, Zipcar, CT Rides, and tech startup Wheeli for an information session, open-panel discussion, and networking opportunity about the latest and greatest in sustainable transportation. Invite your friends, contribute to the discussion, and pitch your own ideas as you network with the featured organizations over a common purpose of traveling green.

Casey Pickett will be the moderator and keynote speaker of the evening. He is currently the Director of Innovation for the State of Connecticut in the Department of Economic and Community Development.

The panel will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 PM on Wednesday, February 11 in Beckham Hall. It is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served. View the Facebook invitation here.

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Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

The Hartford-based Sheff Movement coalition has invited middle and high school students and activists from across Greater Hartford to submit films on “Racial Justice in Education” for their festival on April 25. To help Connecticut’s youngest writers, documentary makers, and cinematographers develop their projects, Sheff Movement is seeking students and faculty from Wesleyan to lead and/or staff workshops on film-related topics in February and March. To get involved, contact Gina Chirichigno at intern@sheffmovement.org.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

The Hartford-based Sheff Movement coalition has invited middle and high school students and activists from across Greater Hartford to submit films on “Racial Justice in Education” for their festival on April 25. To help Connecticut’s youngest writers, documentary makers, and cinematographers develop their projects, Sheff Movement is seeking students and faculty from Wesleyan to lead and/or staff workshops on film-related topics in February and March. To get involved, contact Gina Chirichigno at intern@sheffmovement.org.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

The Hartford-based Sheff Movement coalition has invited middle and high school students and activists from across Greater Hartford to submit films on “Racial Justice in Education” for their festival on April 25. To help Connecticut’s youngest writers, documentary makers, and cinematographers develop their projects, Sheff Movement is seeking students and faculty from Wesleyan to lead and/or staff workshops on film-related topics in February and March. To get involved, contact Gina Chirichigno at intern@sheffmovement.org.

Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)

By David Low ’76

[Sara Brenneis '98]Sara Brenneis ’98, associate professor of Spanish at Amherst College, is the author of Genre Fusion: A New Approach to History, Fiction, and Memory in Contemporary Spain (Purdue University Press), which explores the interconnected nature of history and fiction born of the end of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship and Spain’s transition to democracy. Examining the historical and fictional works of four Spanish authors, this book reasons that we gain a more complete understanding of 20th-century Spain’s collective memory of its past by reading these distinct genres as two sides of the same story.

Brenneis considers fictional and nonfictional works by Montserrat Roig, Carmen Martín Gaite, Carlos Blanco Aguinaga, and Javier Marías to demonstrate the theoretical necessity of “genre fusion.”

Brenneis comments: “My interest in the complementary nature of history and fiction in Spanish literature began with the senior thesis I wrote at Wesleyan, under the direction of Antonio González and inspired by Ricardo Doménech, a professor who taught for the Vassar-Wesleyan-Colgate program in Madrid while I studied abroad my junior year.”

Image: c/o Sara Brenneis

Share this link: wesconnect.wesleyan.edu/news-20140127-sara-brenneis

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