Monday, December 22, 2003

Development and Alumni Relations Welcome New Director Of Major Gifts & Assistant Director of Alumni Relations

Chestertown, MD, December 22, 2003 — The Washington College Office of Development and Alumni and Parent Relations has announced the appointment of two new staffers this December. E. Deal Tompkins will join the department as Director of Major Gifts and alumnus Gehrett W. Ellis '93 assumes the position of Assistant Director of Alumni & Parent Relations.
Tompkins is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, and has done extensive masters program work at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA, and will relocate to the Chestertown area.
Bill MacIntosh, Vice President for Development and Alumni and Parent Relations, noted that Tompkins' 30 years of experience in higher education, especially his extensive development activities at small liberal arts colleges, will boost the College's advancement efforts in the area of major gifts.
“Deal brings a broad professional background to our Development Office, ranging from admissions to planned giving and major gifts,” said MacIntosh. “We very much look forward to working with him and to his future successes here.”
After earning his B.A. in psychology from Randolph-Macon College, Tompkins started his academic career as a teacher in Roanoke, VA, followed by positions in admissions at Randolph-Macon. Following a five-year stint as owner and president of the family's hardware business, he began in earnest his higher education fundraising experience with planned giving and capital and planned gifts positions at Randolph-Macon and later at Sweet Briar College. His responsibilities at Washington College will include the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major gifts prospects, providing stewardship to this constituency, managing a significant portfolio of major donors, devising development strategies for prospects and current major donors, and working closely with the other senior members of the Development Office. He starts in February 2004.
In addition to Tompkins, alumnus Gehrett W. Ellis '93 has been welcomed to the WC Development team as the Assistant Director of Alumni & Parent Relations.
“I know he is very eager to work for Washington College at this time and he will be a welcomed addition to our office,” said Eleanor Shriver Magee '93, Director of Alumni & Parent Relations.
Ellis earned a B.A. in humanities from Washington College in 1993, graduating with departmental honors and achieving honors on his thesis. At graduation, he received the Clark-Porter Medal, awarded annually by the faculty to the senior whose character and personal integrity have most clearly enhanced the quality of campus life. As a student-leader, he served on the Student Conduct Council, the Senior Class Gift Committee, and was a member of The Elm staff. Upon completing graduate work at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, Ellis began a successful career in the technology/internet industry and served as project and product manager for companies in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, where he worked for CDNow, the former number one online music retailer. In addition, Ellis has done considerable volunteer work, fundraising and publicity for the creative and fine arts community of Philadelphia. Most recently, Ellis lived in England pursuing interests outside of the technology/internet industry. Ellis' duties will include organizing and managing the College's phonathon, overseeing the matching gift program, event planning, and constituent relations. He assumes his duties in January 2004.
“I welcome both Deal and Gehrett to our team,” said MacIntosh. “They join Washington College at a very exciting time, and their energy and efforts will greatly contribute to the unprecedented growth we are experiencing.”

Thursday, December 4, 2003

WC English Lecturer Erin Murphy Nominated For Prestigious Pushcart Literary Prize

Chestertown, MD, December 4, 2003 — Erin Murphy, a Lecturer in English at Washington College, has been nominated for a 2003 Pushcart Prize for her poem “Studies,” published in the August 2003 issue of the poetry journal Red River Review. A 1990 graduate of the College, Murphy recently took Second Place in the 2003 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award competition, received Second Place honors in the 2003 Literal Latte Poetry Awards, and was a finalist for this year's Pablo Neruda Award.
“Studies” is a poem in two voices that deals with the clinical and personal aspects of Alzheimer's disease. The editors of Red River Review gave it the journal's “highest possible ranking” and voted to nominate it for this year's Pushcart Prize.
The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses series has been published every year since 1976 and is one of the most honored literary projects in America. Small press journal and book editors can make up to six nominations from their year's publications by the December 1 deadline. Hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in the pages of the annual Pushcart collections. Writers who were first noticed in their pages include Raymond Carver, Tim O'Brien, Jayne Anne Phillips, Susan Minot, John Irving, and Philip Lopate.
Murphy, who served as Creative Writing Editor for the 2003 issue of the Washington College Review, acknowledges her excitement about the nomination.
“I don't write poems for the money or the glory, although it's certainly thrilling when an honor such as the Pushcart nomination comes along,” she said. “I have a thing for language and poetry the way mechanics have a thing for cars. I like to get under the hood of a poem and tinker with words, see what I can make them do. Whatever the outcome, the Pushcart nomination will rev me up to write even more.”

New Online Admissions Guide Recognizes Washington College As A College Of Distinction

Companion Guidebook to Website to be Released in 2004

Chestertown, MD, December 4, 2003 — In recognition of its tradition of teaching excellence and successful alumni, Washington College has been selected as a College of Distinction by a new online guide. The Colleges of Distinction website and forthcoming guidebook, to be published in 2004, offer consumers an honest, insider's look at a wide variety of very different schools, each with a national reputation for excellence, and profile the best bets in higher education today as designated by a committee of educators, college admissions professionals and high school counselors.
According to the guide's creator, Wes Creel, “four distinctions” were emphasized to select the 120 schools profiled in Colleges of Distinction: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community and successful outcomes.
“Our guide asks: Which colleges are the best places to learn, to grow and to succeed?” Creel said. “The answers might surprise you. You'll find both prominent names and ‘hidden gems' on our list. What they have in common is their excellent reputation among high school guidance counselors and education professionals, not to mention employers and graduate schools. Their classrooms are among the most exciting in the country, and their programs are some of the most innovative.”
“We are very proud of this honor,” said Dr. John S. Toll, President of Washington College. “It reaffirms our commitment to a small student/faculty ratio, to engaged learning and research opportunities for students, and to teaching that inspires our students and transforms their lives. Truly, those are the distinctions that set us apart.”
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The College has been recognized by The Princeton Review as one of The Best Mid-Atlantic Colleges and by Washington Post education columnist Jay Matthews as one of the “Hidden Gems” in higher education.
For more information about Colleges of Distinction, visit

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Washington College Announces Spring 2004 Graduate Courses In English, History And Psychology

Chestertown, MD, December 2, 2003 — Students, teachers and mental healthcare professionals are invited to register for Spring Semester 2004 graduate courses at Washington College. The College offers Master of Arts degrees in English, History and Psychology that can help to meet requirements for advanced professional certifications. The Spring 2004 term runs January 19 to May 6. The following courses will be offered:
ENG 597-10 Ritual Unbound: Reading Sacrifice in Modernist Fiction, Thursday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
ENG 597-11 International Fiction, Tuesday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
HIS 598-10 Victorian England, Wednesday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
HIS 598-11 Economic History of Medieval Europe, Tuesday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
HIS 599-10 Interwar U.S. Foreign Relations, Thursday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
PSY 508-10 Research Methods and Advanced Statistics, Monday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
PSY 541-10 Dynamics of Group Interaction, Tuesday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
PSY 571-10 Advanced Counseling, Monday, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
PSY 598-10 Human Sexuality, Wednesday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
For complete information on Washington College's graduate course offerings, including detailed course descriptions and registration forms, visit All Spring Semester classes will be held on Washington College's Chestertown campus. Students must pre-register by December 20 to guarantee texts. The Bookstore will be open 6:00-7:00 p.m. January 19-22, 2004, for students to purchase texts. Graduate tuition is $750 per course plus a non-refundable course registration fee of $50. A late registration fee of $150 per course will be assessed to students who register after the first week of classes. Pre-registration forms will be accepted at the Registrar's Office in person; by mail at Registrar's Office, Washington College, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620; by phone at 410-778-7299; or by fax at 410-810-7159.
Although only one course completed prior to admission to Washington College's graduate program will count toward the Master's degree, students may take an unlimited number of courses without making an application. For admissions information and materials, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 410-810-7131.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Dr. Wayne Bell, Alumna Jill Brewer Take Successes Of Grassroots Rural Community Leadership To Thailand, Nov. 18-21

Chestertown, MD, November 19, 2003 — Dr. Wayne Bell, director of the Washington CollegeCenter for the Environment and Society, and College alumna Jill Brewer '03, are traveling to Bangkok, Thailand to present at the Sixth International Conference on the Environmental Management of Enclosed Coastal Seas (EMECS), November 18-21. Joining the larger Maryland delegation, Bell and Brewer will share results from the first Rural Communities Leadership program for the Eastern Shore, conducted during the first-half of 2003.
“Through discussions held during the Rural Communities Leadership working sessions, we concluded that one of the groups primary findings was that top-down governmental environmental protection programs don't always stick,” said Bell. “They tend to vacillate with the political and economic climate. On the other hand, local programs with a grassroots buy-in tend to be self-sustaining and are more cost-effective for governments. When environmentalism starts locally, through consensus-building in our communities, citizens are more willing to commit to a vision for their quality of life and long-term policies to preserve their local environment.”
Jill Brewer, who helped run the Rural Leadership program while a student last semester, will present these findings and share recommendations with counterparts in other nations. The paper is titled, “A Bio-Regional Approach to the Chesapeake Bay: The Role of the Citizen and Government Involvement in a Watershed-Based Program.” Bell hopes that his EMECS contacts will foster more university exchanges and research opportunities for Washington College students, as well as promote a spirit of cooperation between nations.
“Like no other time in history, we have to think about other people in the world and be open to their concerns—sharing instead of telling and listening in a spirit of cooperation,” said Bell. “The world is getting smaller, and EMECS has set a tone for a cooperative approach to the world's challenges, in this case environmental.”
The biannual EMECS conferences are organized by the International EMECS Center in Kobe, Japan, first established to promote the preservation of Japan's Seto Inland Sea. The EMECS concept developed in the mid-1980s when environmentalists, researchers and policymakers involved with the Chesapeake Bay realized the Bay restoration program was being implemented with little knowledge of the information, methods and results gained by other estuarine and enclosed coastal sea programs in the U.S. and abroad. Concurrently, Governor Toshitami Kaihara of Japan's Hyogo Prefecture had similar concerns while developing initiatives for the environmental restoration of the Seto Inland Sea. Through the cooperation of these two groups, EMECS was founded and now supports a worldwide network concerned with preserving the health and environmental quality of the planet's enclosed coastal seas. The theme of EMECS 2003 is Comprehensive and Responsible Coastal Zone Management for Sustainable and Friendly Coexistence between Nature and People.
Alumna Jill Brewer received her B.A. in sociology from Washington College in May 2003 and was honored that year with the Margaret Horsley Award given annually to the graduating major who has shown in his or her work the clearest understanding of human behavior. She lives in Oregon.

Monday, November 17, 2003

New Study Abroad Program: Partnership With South Korea's Yonsei University Announced

Chestertown, MD, November 17, 2003 — As if Morocco, Japan and Costa Rica aren't exotic enough for today's students shopping for study abroad programs, Washington College is expanding their options with the addition of a new partner institution: Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. This brings to 41 the number of programs around the globe from which Washington College students can choose. The College has partner institutions in 25 countries.
The program in South Korea enhances opportunities for students pursuing the new Asian Studies concentration. Yonsei is considered one of Korea's most outstanding teaching and research institutions, a modern, comprehensive university with colleges in liberal arts, commerce and economics, science and theology. Its independent Division of International Studies, in operation since 1985, has developed exchange agreements with more than 400 institutions worldwide. All course instruction within the Division and within the graduate school of international studies is in English. The Division of International Studies at attracts about 2,000 students from around the world.
“Yonsei University is a tremendous resource for our students, particularly those interested in the East Asian Studies concentration,” said Tahir Shad, associate professor of political science and director of Washington College's international studies program.
Andrew Slater, an international studies major who spent his high school years in Seoul while his stepfather worked there as president of Dupont in Korea, will be the first Washington College student to attend Yonsei. He leaves for Seoul in February.
“I'm really excited, because Yonsei University is the Harvard of Korea,” said Slater. “It is Korea's most highly regarded academic institution. Plus for me, it's like going home. I know the culture, the history, the language. I know my way around the city. I'll be able to get so much out of the experience now, after three years of college.” Slater expects to take courses in Korean and East Asian politics, as well as a Korean language course.
For students interested in Hispanic Studies and the concentration in Latin American studies, the College also recently established a partnership with Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, in Mexico, augmenting existing offerings in Costa Rica and Ecuador.

$22 Million Ahead Of Goal, Washington College's Five-Year Capital Campaign Tops $94 Million

Chestertown, MD, November 17, 2003 — With just six weeks remaining until the conclusion of the Campaign for Washington's College, more than $94.2 million has been tallied against an original five-year goal of $72 million and is fueling the unprecedented growth of the 221-year-old institution's academic offerings, scholarship programs and facilities.
Recent Campaign successes include $610,000 raised by the Joseph H. McLain Memorial Committee to name the three-story atrium in the new Science Center now under construction, and a bequest of $180,000 from the late alumna Estelle Wesley '37, according to Bill MacIntosh, Vice President for Development and Alumni and Parent Relations. Funds available for the new Science Center from private, governmental and institutional sources now stand at $17 million. Other gifts include contributions to the newly created John S. Toll Society, honoring donors who have pledged to help steer the course set by President Toll with continued support for this year and the following two years.
Under the leadership of Milestone Council Chair Thomas H. Gale, a trustee of the College, members of the Board of Visitors and Governors have responded to a special challenge from Gale and his wife, Barbara, by increasing their gifts to the Campaign 32 percent over the level of their initial commitments. Total gifts from the Board now stand at $26.5 million. A new Gale Challenge pledging a dollar-for-dollar match up to $300,000 by December 31, 2003, has been issued to members of the College's Board, the Milestone Council and former trustees.
Included in the latest fundraising totals are a number of special private and government grants for specific academic projects. Prestigious sources such as the Maryland Historical Trust and the National Science Foundation are supporting projects ranging from the College's archaeology program to faculty-student research on fish behavior.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Start The Presses! Endowment Revives Washington College's Literary House Press

New Projects Include John Barth Signed Limited Edition, Eastern Shore Travel Guide

Chestertown, MD, November 14, 2003 — At a College that attracts writers young and old to itsO'Neill Literary House and boasts the Sophie Kerr prize—the nation's largest undergraduate literary award—it seems only fitting that book arts flourish here as well. After a brief hiatus, the Literary House Press, a small publishing venture launched by creative writing professor Bob Day with two friends of the College will start rolling again, thanks to a revitalized board of directors and a $200,000 endowment.
Founded in 1992, the Literary House Press was directed in its early years by the late Richard Harwood, former ombudsman of The Washington Post, and the late Maureen Jacoby, who served on the board of the Press and as managing editor after a career with the Smithsonian Institution Press. After her death in 2002, Jacoby left the College a $200,000 endowment. Matched by The Hodson Trust, her bequest will be used in part to support future publishing projects. In line with its original mission, the Press will continue its focus on the heritage of the Eastern Shore and its writers, said Adam Goodheart, a freelance writer, historian and C. V. Starr Fellow at Washington College, now serving as director of the Press.
“We think the Press has the potential to be a real asset to many different parts of the College community,” said Goodheart. “We'll be giving students, faculty, staff and alumni opportunities to do everything from writing books, to designing and illustrating them, to learning about the business side of publishing. This will be not just a creative venture, but an entrepreneurial one.”
The revived Press' first two projects will bring together local and national talent. The first book, to be released in 2004, will be a limited-edition printing of author John Barth's Browsing, an essay he delivered as a speech at Washington College in 1992 to mark the shelving of the 200,000th volume in Miller Library. The monograph, designed by alumnus and graphic artist James Dissette '71, is being printed by hand on the College's antique letterpress and bound in Minnesota, using handmade paper. Washington College senior Heidi Atwood '04 worked with Barth and Dissette to prepare the text for publication, while Chestertown artist Mary Rhinelander created several linoleum cuts to illustrate the book. The Press will produce 150 limited edition copies of Browsing, 50 of which will be signed by the author.
“This will set a high benchmark for the type of work we do in the future,” Dissette said. “It will be marketed specifically to universities with special collections and to bookstores that sell limited editions.”
Also in the works is a revised edition of Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Guide for Wanderers, which the Press first published in 1997, with text by travel writer Mary Corddry. For the new edition, Goodheart is soliciting short essays on Eastern Shore locales written by members of the Washington College community, turning the book into a collegiate publishing venture in the tradition of the Berkeley Guides and Harvard's Let's Go series. Students in Goodheart's spring course on travel writing will also contribute to the volume.
To order books from the Literary House Press, contact John Parker at 800-422-1782, ext. 7899, or via e-mail: To learn more about getting involved in the Press' publishing ventures, contact Adam Goodheart at

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Challenges With Elephants: The Future Of Maryland Politics Lecture November 18 At Washington College

Chestertown, MD, November 12, 2003 — The Washington College Democrats will host Maryland Delegate Maggie L. McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) speaking on “The Future of Maryland Politics,” Tuesday, November 18 at 6 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Serving in the Maryland House of Delegates since November 1992, McIntosh has held numerous leadership positions. Prior to her election, she served on several boards for organizations such as Action in Maturity, Charles Village, Greater Homewood, and the New Democratic Club. McIntosh is active in the Maryland Democratic Party and served for eight years as a member of the Democratic Central Committee from Baltimore City. She is a former teacher in the Baltimore Public School System and an Adjunct Professor at Catonsville Community College and the University of Baltimore. In her legislative work, she still retains a great passion for ensuring the rights of Maryland's children.
Prior to her election, McIntosh served as State Director and Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Maryland) and as the Associate for Federal Relations at Johns Hopkins University. The first female Majority Leader and Majority Whip, McIntosh is now the current Chair of the Environmental Matters Committee. She continues the Democratic goals of commitment to public education, environment and healthcare, as well as working to provide a safety net for those citizens who are desperately in need of help.
In addition to being named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women, McIntosh was honored by the Women's Law Center and awarded the Dorothy Beatty Memorial Service Award for her work on behalf of expanding the legal rights and protections for all women and their families. She has been recognized by several organizations for her work in the legislature. Common Cause, the Maryland Social Workers Association, Maryland Food Committee, Foster Care Review Board and Action for the Homeless have all honored the work she has done on behalf of Marylanders.
Her November 18th talk will discuss many controversial issues facing the state— from legislation protecting the environment and the agriculture industry to gay and lesbian marriage and the chances of the Maryland Legislature falling into Republican control. Finally, McIntosh will share her thoughts on the 2004 election, what the major issues will be, whether Democrats are presenting themselves as moderate or liberal, and which is the best way for the Democratic Party to take back the White House in 2004.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Ruskin And Turner: The Art Of Ekphrasis, November 12

Chestertown, MD, November 11, 2003 — Charlotte Ribeyrol, a lecturer in English at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, will present the lecture “Turner and Ruskin: The Art of Ekphrasis,” Wednesday, November 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. This lecture, co-sponsored by Washington College's Sophie Kerr Committee and the Department of Art, is open to the public, and all are invited to attend.
As her title indicates, Ribeyrol's talk will deal with the literary tradition of describing works of art. She will concentrate on the writings of the Victorian author and art critic John Ruskin, particularly on his classic opus,Modern Painters, in which he vigorously defended the paintings of William Turner, whose work had been widely dismissed. Ribeyrol entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure at the age of 19 as an English major. Once there, she began studying art history, specializing in Flemish painting and in the links between text and image. She wrote her master's thesis on Ruskin and painting while teaching French at Oxford University (Somerville College). Returning to France, she won first place in the “Agrégation,” the national competitive exam for prospective university teachers. She then spent a second year teaching in Oxford (Christ Church, Brasenose and Lincoln Colleges) while writing her master's thesis on Swinburne and Whistler. Ribeyrol is currently writing her doctoral thesis on the role of ekphrasis in late nineteenth century (Fin de Siècle) poetry in England and in France, while working on a project with the Louvre on ancient Greek frescoes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

Scholars Discuss War And Peace In Contemporary Africa, Nov. 20

Chestertown, MD, November 5, 2003 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and the Daniel Z. Gibson/John A. Wagner Visitors Fund, along with the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, present “War and Peace in Africa as a Challenge to America: Political and Literary Perspectives,” a lecture by Dr. Mildred Mortimer, professor of French at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Dr. Robert Mortimer, professor of political science at Haverford College. The free talk will be held Thursday, November 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum. The public is invited to attend.
In this joint lecture, Dr. Mildred Mortimer will discuss African literary texts that explore politics and examine the literary representations of the Rwandan massacres at Murambi. Dr. Robert Mortimer will then explore post-Cold War Africa and the breakdown of the relative peace that had prevailed on the continent until 1990, all the while posing the question of why the United States should be concerned—and feel implicated—in the civil strife in Liberia and its ramifications across West Africa. He will also discuss the role of the U.S. with respect to the war in Congo/Zaire, the difficult experiences of peacekeepers in Africa, and why he believes President Bush's trip to Africa was not a diplomatic success.
Dr. Mildred Mortimer received her B.A. from Brooklyn College, an M.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. She specializes in Francophone African literature, with a particular interest in the literature of the Maghreb. She is the author ofMouloud Mammeri, écrivain algerien (1982), Assia Djebar (1988) and Maghrebian Mosaic: A Literature in Transition (2001); and the editor of Contes Africains (1972) and Journeys through the French African Novel (1990). She currently serves as the Associate Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of French and Italian at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Dr. Robert Mortimer received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D from Columbia University. Under Fulbright and other grants, he has taught and conducted research in France and several African countries. His scholarly work analyzes the role of African and other “Third World” states in the international political system. Interested in policy matters, he has testified before Congress and served as a consultant to the Department of State, the Council on Foreign Relations and other foreign affairs organizations. From January through July 1998, he served as director of the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal.

Washington College Gospel Choir To Hold Annual Holiday Concert, November 22

Chestertown, MD, November 5, 2003 — The Washington College Gospel Choir, under the direction of Reverend Eric Scott, will hold its annual holiday concert on Saturday November 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the College's Casey Academic Center Gallery. Admission for the concert is $3 per person; children 12 and under are free. The public is encouraged and invited to attend.
“If you want to start the holiday season off in a wonderful way, you should come to this concert,” says Gospel Choir advisor Sara Ann Smith. “We plan to start off the holidays with a ‘Shout to the Lord' in praise, and we invite all members of the community to join us.”
Now in its sixth year, the WC Gospel Choir welcomes students from many states, as well as countries, as members.
“If you have not had an opportunity to come out and hear this choir, please mark your calendar, and come join us for a marvelous time,” says Smith. “You will be very glad you came!”

A Dutchman, His Demons And America: Art Historian Examines De Kooning's “Woman I” At November 19th Lecture

Chestertown, MD, November 5, 2003 — The Washington College Department of Art and theC.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, as part of the American Pictures Lecture Series, present “DE KOONING'S ‘WOMAN I': A DUTCHMAN, HIS DEMONS AND AMERICA,” a talk by David Anfam, Henry Luce Visiting Scholar and Professor in American Art, Brandeis University, on Wednesday, November 19 at 8 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Few American artists have encompassed a wider range of thought, emotions and sources than Willem de Kooning (1904-97). Born in Rotterdam, Holland, de Kooning retained a strong sense of his Dutch ethnicity throughout life while living and working as an abstract expressionist under the spell of American culture. As he once confessed, “I like to have my nose in everything.” His work, accordingly, spans diverse themes—from popular U.S. icons such as Marilyn Monroe and New York's Mayor Fiorella La Guardia, to the scenery of Long Island, which reminded him of his homeland. Likewise, de Kooning's approach mingled hilarity, luminous transcendence and lacerating violence in a quintessential American medley. These carnivalesque extremes of art and experience were caught in his dictum that “flesh was the reason why oil painting was invented.” De Kooning's many depictions of woman particularly embodied this erotic drive, culminating in the 1950s with the famous series of canvases that established him among the era's most controversial painters. At once idols and avengers, the Women paintings are both a homage to the American female and a nightmarish fugue evoking our darkest psychological drives. Dr. Anfam's lecture reveals de Kooning's complex relationship to both the Old Masters and to everyday American culture in the mid-twentieth century, tracing key links throughout his output between the body, vision and the human condition.

A Londoner by birth, Dr. Anfam holds a B.A. and Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Since receiving his Ph.D. in 1984, he has worked as an author, lecturer, curator and consultant on numerous art exhibition and catalog projects. He is the recipient of the 2000 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art for his book Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas; A Catalogue Raisonné (Yale University Press, 1998), and his articles have appeared in Artforum, The Burlington Magazine, Apollo, Royal Academy Magazine and Tate Magazine.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Ugandan Legislator Discusses Women's Rights, Aids In Africa, November 13 At Washington College

Chestertown, MD, November 4, 2003 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and the Gender Studies Program present “Social and Political Change for Women in Uganda: The Effect of HIV/AIDS,” a talk by the Honorable Joyce Mpanga, former Member of Parliament, Uganda, Thursday, November 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library.
Mpanga currently she serves as Uganda's Chairperson for Non-Government Organizations Board. She is also a member of the Board for Evaluation of External Support for Basic Education in developing countries including Uganda, Burkina Faso, Zambia and Bolivia in South America. As a consultant in the field of education for women, she helped to set up the Ministry of Gender and Community Development in Rwanda and has designed projects for several women groups in Africa. She was also among the delegation that formulated the recent treaty to set up the Legislative Assembly for East African countries. In 1960, during British colonial rule in Africa, Mpanga was one of the first women appointed by the British Colonial Governor of Uganda to represent women in Parliament. She has held several leadership positions in her country, including Secretary of State for Women in Development, 1988-89; and Secretary of State for Education, 1989-91. From 1979-1988, she was Deputy Chairperson to the Public Service Commission, which recruits, promotes and trains her nation's top civil servants. Mpanga holds a B.A. in history from London University and a M.S. in education from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Joyce Mpanga's visit is sponsored by Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, established in honor of the late Louis L. Goldstein, 1935 alumnus and Maryland's longest serving elected official. The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, travel and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders in public policy and the media.

Tea & Talk Series Welcomes Professor Richard DeProspo On Literary Naturalism In The U.S., Nov. 17

Chestertown, MD, November 4, 2003 — The 2003-2004 Tea & Talk Series continues on Monday, November 17 at 4:30 p.m. with a talk in the O'Neill Literary House by Washington College English Professor Richard DeProspo.
Dr. DeProspo will address the topic: “Thoreau/McKibben/Henley: Literary Naturalism in the U.S. from the Most Taught Book in the World through the Most Prestigious Lit Mag in the World to the Best Selling Album in the World.”
The talk will trace the culture of ecology in the United States—most recently manifested in the sub-culture of global warming—from its reputed origin in the writings of Henry David Thoreau, through its advocacy in the writings of the influential literary ecologist Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, to its influence on the career of celebrity ecologist and activist Don Henley, drummer for the Eagles and composer of such recent albums as The End of the Innocence.
The event is free and all are welcomed to enjoy tea, conviviality and discussion at the O'Neill Literary House. Tea served at 4 p.m.

Monday, November 3, 2003

Concert Series Welcomes Medieval Music Ensemble To The Tawes Theatre, November 18

Chestertown, MD, November 3, 2003 — The Washington College Concert Series welcomes the medieval music ensemble Istanpitta to the College's Tawes Theatre, Gibson Performing Arts Center, Tuesday, November 18, at 8 p.m. Single tickets can be purchased at the door, $15.00 for adults and $5.00 for youth and students. Season tickets and sponsorships are available.
Istanpitta (from the Italian word meaning a “stamping dance”) is a Texas-based ensemble dedicated to playing and preserving the music of the Middle Ages and early-Renaissance era. Not to be confused with the Celtic music so popular today, Istanpitta's repertoire draws its breadth of melodic themes and rhythms from medieval France, Italy, Moorish Spain, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Audiences will delight to period instruments such as the oud, lute, saz, shawm, Renaissance recorder, transverse flute, hurdy-gurdy and krummhorn. The ensemble has released two CDs, C'est la fin: Dances of the Middle Ages and Chevrefoil.
For ticket information and a free Washington College Concert Series 2003-2004 season brochure, call 410-778-7839, or 800-422-1782, ext. 7839. Season tickets are available for $50.00 per person. Individual tax-deductible patron memberships begin at $75.00. Contributing patron memberships begin at $150.00, supporting at $250.00, and sustaining at $500.00. All membership packages include two tickets, and all donations over the price of the tickets are tax-deductible. Season tickets and memberships can be purchased by check or money order through the mail from the Washington College Concert Series, 300 Washington Avenue, Chestertown, MD 21620-1197. The next performance in the Concert Series will be by the Chiara String Quartet on Tuesday, December 2, at 8 p.m., rescheduled from September 18 due to Hurricane Isabel.

Friday, October 31, 2003

International Week, November 10-14: Washington College Celebrates Cultural Diversity And Understandin

Chestertown, MD, October 31, 2003 — Washington College's Office of International and Diversity Affairs and Student Government Association Diversity Affairs Committee present International Week, November 10-14. Students, staff and faculty are invited to take advantage of the scheduled events and activities to celebrate Washington College's diverse student body and to encourage international understanding and cooperation.

Monday, November 10

9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Casey Academic Center Gallery. Enjoy face paining and a display of international costumes, plus the opportunity to meet some of WC's international students and learn about different countries around the world.
7 p.m., Casey Academic Center Forum. “ The Legacy of Ralph Bunche,” a lecture by Dr. Badi Foster on the first African American Nobel Prize winner.

Tuesday, November 11

7:30 p.m., Custom House Library. The C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience presents “A Hundred Years of Modernity: Turkey from the Ottoman to the Iraq Crisis and Beyond,” a lecture by Faruk Birtek, professor of sociology, Bogazici University, Istanbul, and a Visiting Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center. Reception to follow.

Wednesday, November 12

7:30 p.m., Hynson Lounge. “The Development of the New Europe: The Case of Slovenia,” a lecture by the Hon. Davorin Kracun, Slovenian Ambassador to the United States.

Thursday, November 13

4:30 p.m., Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library. “Social and Political Change for Women in Uganda: The Effect of HIV/AIDS,” a lecture by the Hon. Joyce Mpanga, former Member of Parliament, Uganda. 8-10 p.m., Casey Academic Center Forum. “The United Nations in Crisis,” a behind-the-scenes simulation featuring student participants from the International Studies Council.

Friday, November 14

7:30 p.m., Norman James Theatre. The Washington College Film Series presents Read My Lips, a deliciously sinister French noir thriller with an absorbing character study of two lonely outsiders (a deaf secretary and an ex-con) who gradually recognize their mutual dependency. French with English subtitles, 115 minutes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

C.V. Starr Center Presents Vanity Fair's Sam Tanenhaus On Buckley And McCarthy, November 4

Chestertown, MD, October 27, 2003 — Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience presents “TWO WHO MADE A REVOLUTION: BILL BUCKLEY AND JOE MCCARTHY,” a lecture by author Sam Tanenhaus, contributing editor to Vanity Fair and Visiting Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center. This free talk will be held Tuesday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. All are invited to attend.
A prolific writer and close chronicler of America's contemporary political scene, Tanenhaus is the author of the critically acclaimed biography, Whittaker Chambers: A Biography (Random House, 1997), and is currently working on a biography of William F. Buckley, Jr. His November 4th talk will focus on his research for this book and examine the rise of the modern conservative movement from two men who ascended to national prominence at the same moment and worked together closely half a century ago: William F. Buckley and Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Tanenhaus is a former editor at The New York Times and his articles have appeared in The American Scholar and Commentary, among other periodicals. In addition to his biography of Whittaker Chambers, he is the author of Louis Armstrong: Biography of a Musician (1989) and Literature Unbound: A Guide for the Common Reader (1984).
For more information about events, programs and speakers sponsored by Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, visit the Center online at, or call 410-810-7156.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Speaker Explores The Legacy Of Ralph Bunche, First African-American Nobel Peace Prize Winner, November 10

Chestertown, MD, October 23, 2003 — Washington College's International Week presents “The Legacy of Ralph Bunche,” a lecture by Badi Foster, president of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, on Monday, November 10, at 7 p.m. in the Casey Academic Center Forum. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Though few recall his name, Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche (1903-1971) was the first African American and the first person of color anywhere in the world to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Bunche received the prize in 1950, hailed for his work as a United Nations mediator in Palestine from 1947 to 1949, the height of the bloodiest confrontations between Arabs and Israelis. After months of ceaseless negotiating, Bunche secured an armistice between the fledgling State of Israel and the Arab states. For more information on the life of Dr. Ralph Bunche, visit
Dr. Badi Foster is an educator, an advocate for social change and development for the poor and underprivileged, and an innovative management professional. In November 2000, Dr. Foster was named the sixth president of the Phelps-Stokes Fund, America's oldest continuously operating foundation serving the needs of African Americans, Native Americans, Africans, and the rural and urban poor. The Fund has been a pioneer in pursuing equity for and unity among diverse ethnic and racial groups while promoting the core value of education for human development. Dr. Foster's life has mirrored those core principles. Born in Chicago, he spent his adolescent years in Africa and completed secondary school in Morocco. He earned an undergraduate degree in international relations with an emphasis on Africa from the University of Denver, and as a Fulbright fellow focused his doctoral research on the impact of rapid urbanization in Africa. Dr. Foster has served as consultant to the Ford Foundation for projects centering on higher education in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Tunisia. He received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University and has received many academic honors and served in numerous public service positions.
The lecture is sponsored by Washington College's Student Government Association Diversity Affairs Committee and Office of International and Diversity Affairs.

Hands Out For Halloween! WC Students To Collect Canned Goods For The Needy, October 31

Chestertown, MD, October 23, 2003 — Washington College's Hands Out Service Organization will be collecting canned goods for the needy on Halloween night, Friday, October 31, between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
Students from Washington College will join trick-or-treaters in Chestertown, but don't be surprised if they don't want your candy! Instead, they will be asking for your donation of canned or other imperishable food items to help restock local food pantries serving the underprivileged in Kent County.
Hands Out encourages Washington College students and faculty to lend a helping hand locally and regionally to those in need. Projects include food and clothing drives and other local community projects addressing specific needs. For more information or if you would like to join in this volunteer effort, contact Kerry Kauffman at 410-810-1872, or via e-mail:

Poet Suzanne Cleary To Read At Washington College, Oct. 30

Chestertown, MD, October 23, 2003 — Washington College's Sophie Kerr and O'Neill Literary House Lecture Series present a reading by poet Suzanne Cleary, Thursday, October 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. All are invited to this free event.
Suzanne Cleary was born and raised in Binghamton, NY. She earned a M.A. in writing from Washington University and a Ph.D. in literature and criticism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as an associate professor of English at SUNY-Rockland in Suffern, NY. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Georgia Review, The Massachusetts Review and other journals, and her book reviews have appeared in Bloomsbury Review and Chelsea Review. Writing about Cleary's recent collection Keeping Time (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002), U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins observed, “I have long been anticipating this first book, and the chance to express how highly I value Suzanne Cleary's poetry. Her poems have a vigorous forward roll to them and are strung together by daring chains of association. It is refreshing to read a poet who wants to hide nothing, to turn over all the cards at once. High time she had a book, a place for her original voice to echo.”
The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which carries on the legacy of Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, MD, whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, she left the bulk of her estate to the College specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor,” and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Science, Politics, And The Struggle To Save The Bay

Chestertown, MD, October 23, 2003 — Washington College's Joseph H. McLain Lecture Series and the Center for the Environment and Society present "CHESAPEAKE BAY BLUES: SCIENCE, POLITICS, AND THE STRUGGLE TO SAVE THE BAY, " a lecture by Dr. Howard Ernst, Assistant Professor, U.S. Naval Academy and Senior Scholar, Center for Politics, University of Virginia. A book signing will follow. The event will take place Thursday, Oct. 23, Hynson Lounge, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Reflections On Landscape And Life: British Naturalist Richard Mabey To Discuss The Environments Of His Native Land, Oct. 29

Chestertown, MD, October 21, 2003 — Washington College's Center for the Environment and Society presents “THE WOOD AND THE WET,” a lecture by Britain's foremost nature writer, Richard Mabey, Wednesday, October 29, at 4 p.m. in the Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Richard Mabey is considered one of Britain's most gifted and evocative writers on nature and the environment. For more than 30 years, as a writer and broadcaster, he has educated British audiences about their nation's own natural history, habitats, flora and fauna. He is the author of more than 20 books including the popular Food for Free, Flora Britannica, Country Matters and The Common Ground, which examines the future of Britain's countryside. In his lecture “The Wood and the Wet,” he will introduce us to his work in progress, Nature Cure, which describes his move from the natural environment of Britain's forested Chiltern Hills to the flat, wet fenlands of Norfolk. His talk will reflect on the contrasting characters of these two habitats and the different cultural and psychological meanings that they have for their inhabitants.
To learn more about events and programs sponsored by Washington College's Center for the Environment and Society, visit the center online at

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Have We Gone Too Far? ACLU President On National Security Vs. Civil Liberties, November 6

Chestertown, MD, October 20, 2003 — Washington College's William James Forum and Goldstein program in Public Affairs present Nadine Strossen, President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), on “Protecting Civil Liberties and National Security After 9/11: How to Strike a Balance,” Thursday, November 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Please note, this event was originally scheduled for September 17, but was rescheduled because of Hurricane Isabel.
Nadine Strossen, Professor of Law at New York Law School, has served as President of the ACLU since 1991, and has written, lectured and practiced extensively in the areas of constitutional law, civil liberties and international human rights. The National Law Journal has twice named Strossen one of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” and in 1998, Vanity Fair included Strossen in “America's 200 Most Influential Women.” Since becoming ACLU President, an unpaid, volunteer position, Strossen has made more than 200 public presentations per year and comments frequently on legal issues in the national media. She was a regular guest on ABC's “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher and is a weekly commentator on the Talk America Radio Network. In October 2001, Strossen made her professional theater debut as the guest star in Eve Ensler's award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, during a week-long run at the National Theatre in Washington, DC.
Strossen's writings have been published in many scholarly and general interest publications (approximately 250 published works). Her book, Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights (Scribner 1995), was named a “notable book” by the New York Times and was republished in October 2000 by NYU Press. Her co-authored book, Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties (NYU Press 1995), was named an “outstanding book” by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America. Strossen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1972 and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1975. Before becoming a law professor, she practiced law for nine years in Minneapolis, MN, and New York City.
The talk is sponsored by Washington College's William James Forum and Goldstein Program in Public Affairs, established in honor of the late Louis L. Goldstein, 1935 alumnus and Maryland's longest serving elected official. The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, travel and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders in public policy and the media.

Speaker Explores The Political And Cultural Symbolism In American Mapmaking, November 5

Chestertown, MD, October 20, 2003 — Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience presents “THE GEOGRAPHICAL IMAGINATION IN AMERICA,” a lecture by Susan Schulten, assistant professor of history at the University of Denver, Wednesday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
The author of the book The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950 (University of Chicago Press, 2001), Schulten will explore how politics, history and culture influenced the study and presentation of geography in America from 1880, when maps first became widely available, to 1950, the beginning of the Cold War. Her research tells the story of Americans beginning to see the world around them, how maps of the historical period represented U.S. attitudes toward the world, and how four influential institutions—publicly available maps and atlases, the National Geographic Society, the American university, and the public school system—conveyed through mapmaking and the teaching of geography the political and cultural ideology of our nation.
Publishers Weekly described Schulten's book as “a well-documented account of how politics, history and culture influenced the study and presentation of geography… Theory is wisely balanced by a hodgepodge of odd and interesting facts about maps, politics and American cultural trends.”
For more information about C. V. Starr Center events and programs, visit the Center online at, or call 410-810-7156.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Historian To Discuss The Underground Literature Of 18th Century France, October 23

Chestertown, MD, October 14, 2003 — Washington College's Conrad Wingate Memorial Lecture Series presents “Mademoiselle Bonafon and the Private Life of Louis XV: What the Butler Saw and What the Public Read in 18th Century France,” a lecture by Princeton historian Robert Darnton. This free lecture will be held Thursday, October 23, at 4 p.m. in the College's Norman James Theatre. The public is invited to attend.
A former Rhodes scholar, Dr. Darnton holds a Doctor of Philosophy in history from Oxford University (1964) and now serves as the Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History at Princeton University. He is well known for his behind-the-scenes approach and research into the undersides of history, the history of books and the history of censorship with a specific focus on 18th century France. His books include The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (1985); Berlin Journal: 1989-1990 (1993); The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (1996), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; and the recently released George Washington's False Teeth: An Unconventional Guide to the Eighteenth Century (Norton, 2003). In his October 23rd lecture, Dr. Darnton will discuss his most recent research on the underground literature in France attacking King Louis XV and the general theme of illicit literature as it related to public opinion in 18th century Paris. Taking an “historical perspective to current questions” viewpoint, Dr. Darnton sees 18th century France as a society awash in “information” and an underground press with parallels to our own time with the profusion of information and rumor on the Internet.
The Conrad M. Wingate Memorial Lecture in History is held in honor of the late Conrad Meade Wingate '23, brother of late Washington College Visitor Emeritus Phillip J. Wingate '33 and the late Carolyn Wingate Todd. He was principal of Henderson (MD) High School at the time of his death from cerebrospinal meningitis at age 27. At Washington College, he was president of the Dramatic Association, president of the Adelphia Literary Society and vice president of the Student Council in 1922-23.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Tea & Talk Series Hosts Prof. Tom Cousineau Speaking On The Tragic Tradition In Western Literature

Chestertown, MD, October 13, 2003 — The O'Neill Literary House continues its 2003-2004 Tea & Talk Series on Monday, October 20, at 4:30 p.m. with a talk by Washington College English professor Tom Cousineau titled “Singing Songs while Killing Goats: From Oedipus the King to Waiting for Godot.” The event is free and all are welcomed to enjoy tea and discussion at the O'Neill Literary House. Tea served at 4 p.m.
“The title of my talk refers to ‘tragoidia,' the Greek word for tragedy which is usually translated as ‘a song sung while sacrificing a goat,'” says Professor Cousineau. “The talk itself grows out of the many classes involving Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot that I have taught here at the College. Over the years, I've pondered the different ways in which each play gives expression to the ritual practices out of which Western drama developed. The talk will reflect my research on this topic and my thoughts on it as I worked on various publication projects. In fact, these reflections became a fundamental reference for my forthcoming book, Ritual Unbound: Reading Sacrifice in Modernist Fiction.”
Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Since its dedication in 1985, the rambling and eclectic O'Neill Literary House has been the locus of the College's creative writing and literary culture.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet W.D. Snodgrass To Read At Washington College, October 16

Chestertown, MD, October 13, 2003 — Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.D. Snodgrass will read at Washington College on Thursday, October 16, at 7 p.m. in the Sophie Kerr Room of the Miller Library. All are invited to this free event.
William DeWitt Snodgrass was born in Wilkinsburg, PA, in 1926. His more than twenty books of poetry include The Fuehrer Bunker: The Complete Cycle (1995); Each in His Season (1993); Selected Poems, 1957-1987; The Führer Bunker: A Cycle of Poems in Progress (1977), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry; After Experience (1968); and Heart's Needle (1959), which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1960. He has also produced two books of literary criticism, To Sound Like Yourself: Essays on Poetry (2003) and In Radical Pursuit (1975), and six volumes of translation. His honors include an Ingram Merrill Foundation award and a special citation from the Poetry Society of America, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Snodgrass is often credited with being one of the founding members of the “confessional” school of poetry—a classification he vigorously eschews—having had a tremendous impact on that facet of contemporary poetry. “Like other confessional poets, Snodgrass is at pains to reveal the repressed, violent feelings that often lurk beneath the seemingly placid surface of everyday life,” observed critic David McDuff. Snodgrass' later works also show a widening vision, applying the lessons of self-examination to the problems of modern society. In style and technique, Snodgrass' poetry “successfully bridged the directness of contemporary free verse with the demands of the academy,” according to Thomas Lask of The New York Times.
The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which carries on the legacy of Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, MD, whose generosity has done so much to enrich Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, she left the bulk of her estate to the College specifying that one half of the income from her bequest be awarded every year to the senior showing the most “ability and promise for future fulfillment in the field of literary endeavor,” and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships, and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Scholar To Discuss Maoist Terrorism And Guerrilla Wars In Peru And Nepal, October 23

Chestertown, MD, October 13, 2003 — Washington College's International Studies Program welcomes David Scott Palmer, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University, speaking on “Terror in the Name of Mao: True Believers and People's War in Peru and Nepal,” Thursday, October 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Casey Academic Forum. Dr. Palmer's talk will present a comparative analysis of Maoist guerrilla organizations in Peru (the Shining Path) and Nepal. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
Dr. Palmer has worked on issues related to political development, insurgency, border disputes, and civil-military relations in Latin America since studying in Chile and Uruguay and serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in highland Peru in the early 1960s. His major publications focus on Peruvian politics at both the national and local level, the Shining Path, the Latin American military, the Peru-Ecuador border conflict, drug trafficking and United States-Latin American relations. He served as Chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies for 12 years at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State, including four years as associate dean. He has consulted with the United Nations Development Program, the Ford Foundation and USAID, most recently as a Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Specialist in Nepal. He lectures and consults regularly on terrorism and related issues for various government institutions, including the State Department, the National Intelligence Council and the U.S. Armed Services.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

The Nuts & Bolts : WC Prof's New College Writing Guide Emphasizes Clarity Over Clutter

Chestertown, MD, October 9, 2003 — Michael Harvey, a professor at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, has released a new book that just might replace Strunk & White's Elements of Style as the perennial writing tool for college students. At $4.95, The Nuts & Bolts of College Writing (Hackett, 2003) presents in 100 pages a how-to approach for college writers, identifying the qualities that distinguish good writing from bad and providing practical measures for avoiding the potholes on the road to effective expression.
Harvey has taught writing to college students for more than 20 years, first as a peer tutor at the University of Maryland, then as a graduate student at Cornell University, and then as a professor. “I've taught a lot of writing-intensive courses over the years, and for a long time I've wondered how best to help students become better readers, better writers—better thinkers,” he said. “That is the origin of this book.”
The most common mistakes in students' writing, he said, center on what he calls the “pompous” style: weak verbs, nominalizations, passive voice, and long, shapeless sentences. His Nuts and Bolts Guide is an attempt to try to get students to write plain sentences with strong verbs, rhythm, and emphasis-—in other words, to write in a more natural, plain-spoken voice. All this in a slim volume priced under $5, so as to be nonintimidating and accessible to all.
“When you grade a lot of student essays, you tend to see the same mistakes over and over again—fear of active verbs; fear of expressing bold opinions; a tendency to say in 30 words what could have been said in a dozen; preference for big, college-sounding words,” Harvey said. “You also see other problems—things like poorly organized paragraphs, weak transitions, overly broad or overly timid claims, and clunky use of quotations. I came to realize that students write in what they think is an adult or collegiate voice—big words, weak verbs, and the passive voice. In a sense, they are imitating the models they had been given, in textbooks, in official documents, in how too many leaders and bureaucrats tend to communicate.
Unfortunately, we are betraying the need for clarity in expression and giving our students unhelpful models of communication.”
For Harvey, students' mastery of clear expression is not merely a technical skill, but a moral act. “When we write unclearly, we are very often trying to hide something. That's a moral choice and a bad social convention of our time,” he said. “Students learn to camouflage their writing from an early age, but I think we need to train young people to have the courage of their convictions, to express their views or observations without fear, and to do so clearly.”
A book on college writing might not seem to be an inspired work, but for Harvey, The Nuts and Bolts Guide most certainly is.
“I've been inspired to do this by my students, my teachers, and the many writers I've read. But one modern writer stands out—George Orwell. I read 1984 when I was quite young and it made a big impression on me. For Orwell, clear language, decency, and honest politics all went together, and tyranny began with the corruption of language. That remains a powerful lesson in our world.”
So who should have this book, and why?
“I think every undergraduate should have this book, or one like it. Society is held together by words. Paraphrasing Disraeli, we govern ourselves with words, so it is our responsibility to know how to use them well.”
The Nuts & Bolts Guide to College Writing is available online from and A companion website can be found at Signed copies of The Nuts & Bolts Guide to College Writing are also available in the Washington College Bookstore. To order a copy, contact the Bookstore at (410)778-7749.