Thursday, September 22, 2005

Eminent Curator Examines Girodet's Portrait "Black Apollo" at October 20 Lecture

Chestertown, MD, September 22, 2005 — Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, in conjunction with the Department of Art, presents as part of the American Pictures Series, "Black Apollo in the French Revolution: Girodet's Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley," a lecture by Sylvain Bellenger, Chief Curator of the French Patrimony for the Government of France, Thursday, October 20, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Bellenger's lecture will examine Anne-Louis Girodet's 1797 portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley, a black soldier and statesman who was born into slavery in Senegal and later fought in the American, Haitian, and French Revolutions. Hailed for his genius and artistic rebellion, Girodet, more than any of his contemporaries, engendered a new aesthetic sensibility for history painting and established a unique style embodying refinement and sensuality. Girodet's paintings were described by one contemporary critic as having a "precision of drawing reminiscent of the masterpieces of antiquity, a fresh coloring, a studied effect, and a brush stroke at once generous, fluent, and delicate."

Sylvain Bellenger is the curator of the exhibition, "Romantic Rebel: The Art of Girodet," which opened this September at the Louvre and will travel thereafter to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. Bellenger served as the Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos, Jr. Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He is currently the Chief Curator of the National Heritage Department of the Direction des Musées de France and is affiliated with the Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art.

The lecture is sponsored by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and the Department of Art at Washington College. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College and Chestertown, the C.V. Starr Center is dedicated to exploring the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.

News about upcoming events is available online at, or by calling Program Manager Kees de Mooy at 410-810-7156.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Subversive Satire and Antiheroes: Novelist Benjamin Anastas Reads from His Fiction, October 6

Chestertown, MD, September 21, 2005 — Novelist Benjamin Anastas, author of An Underachiever's Diary (Dial Press, 1998) and The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor's Disappearance: A Novel (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001), will give a public reading of his works on Thursday, October 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

Anastas is currently serving as Interim Director of Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House and visiting assistant professor of English. Prior to joining the College's English and creative writing faculty, he was executive director of the Ledig House International Writers' Colony in Ghent, New York. He has also taught creative writing for the New School's Eugene Lang College and Columbia University's graduate writing program.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and a former fiction editor of The Iowa Review, Anastas won Story Magazine's College Fiction Competition in 1992 for "A Voice from Somewhere Else" and GQ's coveted Frederick Exley Fiction Prize in 1994 for his short story "Ice Fishing." His most recent short fiction, "Versace Enthroned with Saints Margaret, Jerome, Alex, and the Angel Donatella," was published in The Yale Review and received the publication's Smart Family Foundation Prize in 2005. Anastas has also published essays and reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, New Republic, The New York Observer, Bookforum, and

The New Yorker has called An Underachiever's Diary "bitterly funny" with "veils of irony [that] are light enough to charm even the coolest reader", while Thomas Mallon, editor of GQ, wrote, "From the first paragraph, Benjamin Anastas has got you. His witty, sorrowful hero speaks in a voice that snares the listener as fully as Salinger's Seymour Glass once did." The novel has been optioned for the screen by Warner Brothers. His second novel, The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor's Disappearance, was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and has been called "the novel of the year" by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket. Both novels have been translated into German, Spanish, and Italian. The Italian version of An Underachiever's Diarywas a bestseller in 2002.

The reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, which works to carry on the legacy of the late 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, Kerr 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.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Liberty on the Waterfront: Historian Explores America's Maritime Culture in the Age of Revolution, September 29

Chestertown, MD, September 19, 2005 — Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and Sultana Projects, Inc., as part of the 2005 Maritime Lecture Series, present "Liberty on the Waterfront: American Maritime Culture in the Age of Revolution," a lecture by historian Paul Gilje, Thursday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Book signing to follow.

Winner of the North American Society for Oceanic History John Lyman Book Award and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Best Book Award for 2004, Gilje's latest book, Liberty on the Waterfront, sheds light on what liberty meant to America's maritime culture during the Age of Revolution. At the time of the Revolution, American sailors emerged as an important symbol of the spirit of the new nation: the stereotypical sailor represented a culture and value system that challenged the dominant ideals of both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By exploring the history of our nation's maritime culture, Gilje will examine the concept of liberty held by these common Americans of the time in comparison with the more esoteric definitions of liberty penned by the Founding Fathers. A professor of history at the University of Oklahoma, Gilje is the author of Rioting in America and The Road to Mobocracy: Popular Disorder in New York City, 1763-1834. He is the co-editor of American Artisans: Crafting Social Identity, 1750-1850 and Keepers of the Revolution: New Yorkers at Work in the Early Republic.

The talk is sponsored by Washington College's C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience and Chestertown's Sultana Projects, Inc., which operates the reproduction 1768 Schooner Sultana and conducts educational cruises and outreach programs to promote a greater appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay's history and environment. The C. V. Starr Center opened in 2000 as an innovative forum for new scholarship about American history. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College and Chestertown, the Center is dedicated to exploring the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.

Visit the C. V. Starr Center online at

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Free Speech in the Digital Age: Constitution Day Web Cast, September 16

Chestertown, MD, September 15, 2005

THE FIRST AMENDMENT: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Washington welcomes students, staff, faculty and the community to a web cast in commemoration of Constitution Day.

Free Speech in the Digital Age

Friday, September 16, 2005
Daly Hall, Room 218
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

NPR's Justice Talking is presenting this free web cast from the National Archives. The program will explore censorship of libraries, textbooks, and the Internet.

Bring your lunch and learn about your Constitutional rights and the challenges they face today.

How Words Get into Print: Free Seminar Presents an Insider's Guide to Book Publishing

Chestertown, MD, September 15, 2005 — Is your pile of rejection letters growing higher and higher? Has your great American novel joined the newspapers and beer cans in the recycling bin? Or are you the kind of reader who despairs when you see the latest installment of The Botticelli Code on The New York Times bestseller list?

For all those who have ever wondered how the mysterious world of book publishing works and how it continues to thrive in an age too shallow for deep reading, Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House will host a day-long seminar, "Words Into Print: An Insider's Guide to Book Publishing," on Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge.

Free and open to the public, the seminar will explain the how's, why's and wherefore's of contemporary publishing from four perspectives—those of an editor, literary agent, book designer, and publicist—for a true insider's look at how books are made and where the publishing world is headed in the 21st century. A complimentary light breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided for all participants.

"Books continue to have a special meaning in reader's lives," says Benjamin Anastas, Interim Director of the Rose O'Neill Literary House and author of two critically acclaimed novels, An Underachiever's Diary (Dial Press, 1998) and A Faithful Narrative of a Pastor's Disappearance(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001). "We've assembled an extraordinary group of publishing professionals who understand this and protect our faith in the written word."

The seminar's featured guests are Barbara Epler, Editor-in-Chief of New Directions, the independent literary publishing house founded by James Laughlin in 1936 and renowned for publishing the Modernist luminaries Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and Tennessee Williams, as well as works in translation by Celine, Mishima, Rilke, Kafka, and Octavio Paz; literary agent Ira Silverberg, Director of Foreign Rights at Donadio & Olson, a New York agency representing a wide range of authors from Chuck Palahniuk, J.T. Leroy, and Adam Haslett to the estates of Mario Puzo and Jacqueline Susann; Rodrigo Corral, an award-winning book designer who began his career at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, served as an Art Director at Doubleday, and now runs his own design firm; and Cary Goldstein, Associate Director of Publicity at Farrar, Straus & Giroux, who has worked as Director of National Poetry Month for the Academy of American Poets, an editor and buyer for Barnes &, and as Senior Publicist with Basic Books.

For more information, or to reserve a place, please call 410-778-7845 or, by Thursday, October 6.

The seminar is sponsored through the auspices of the Donner Foundation, Washington College's Literary House Press, and the Sophie Kerr Committee.

30 Plays in 60 Minutes, or Your Money Back!

WC Presents Duchamp Redux September 29, 30 and October 1

Chestertown, MD, September 15, 2005 — Washington College's Drama Department presents its first show of the Fall 2005 season, Duchamp Redux: an Ersatz Neo-Futurist Production,directed by Professor Dale Daigle, September 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and October 1 at 8 p.m., in the College's Tawes Theatre. Tickets are $5.00 per person and proceeds will be sent to the American Red Cross for its Katrina Disaster Relief program. For ticket reservations and information, call 410-778-7835 or

Following the production format of Chicago's Neo-Futurist dramatic ensemble, 25 actors will tackle the performance of 30 plays in 60 minutes, allowing the audience to decide the arrangement of the plays. If the actors fail in their mission, the audience will get their money back as well as free pizza. Breaking down the fourth wall of conventional theater, Duchamp Redux will challenge audience members through intense audience/actor interaction, non-traditional characters, and a vast array of controversial topics.

Drama Professor Daigle warns, "We promise to make you laugh and—unless your skin is fairly thick—offend you to some point, as well. You won't want to miss it."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

WC Drama Department Announces Schedule of Fall 2005 Stage Productions

Chestertown, MD, September 14, 2005 — Washington College's Drama Department presents a full and exciting series of plays for the Fall 2005 season. All shows are open to the public and begin at 8 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theater. For ticket reservations and information, call 410-778-7835 or e-mail

The following productions are scheduled for the Fall:

Duchamp Redux: an Ersatz Neo-Futurist Production

Directed by Professor Dale Daigle
September 29, 30, and October 1

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told

By Paul Rudnick
A Senior Thesis directed by Kate Amann
October 21 and 22


By Melanie Marnich
A Senior Thesis directed by Mali Royer
October 28 and 29

Cloak & Dagger

A Senior Playwriting Thesis by Brian C. Cornelius
Directed by Carrie Chapter
November 4 and 5

Journey's End

By R.C. Sherriff
A Senior Thesis directed by Chas H. Libretto
Senior Thesis Design by Heather Holiday
November 11 and 12


By David Mamet
Directed by Professor Larry Stahl
December 1, 2, and 3

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Expert on International Law and Strategic Planning to Speak on September 13

Chestertown, MD, September 8, 2005 — Washington College's Goldstein Program in Public Affairs presents "Anticipation, Pre-Emption and Prevention: Self-Defense, International Law and Strategic Common Sense," a lecture by Dr. Steven Haines, Royal Holloway College, University of London, Tuesday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Hynson Lounge. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

A Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, Haines' career with the Royal Navy spans more than 30 years. Serving time on both the Naval and Central Staffs with the Ministry of Defence (MoD), he played a primary role in strategic planning for the Royal Navy. Closely linked to his former service career, his academic interests focus on strategic analysis as well as the influence of law on strategy and the conduct of military operations. In December 2001, his report Responsibility to Protect,prepared for the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, was presented to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The talk 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.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Washington College Offers Fall 2005 Semester Enrollment without Charge to College Students Affected by Katrina

Eight Spots Available to Students Displaced by the Hurricane

Chestertown, MD, September 2, 2005 — Washington College has announced that it will offer enrollment at no charge to students displaced from their colleges or universities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The College will pay 100 percent of the tuition, room and board for up to eight students for the Fall 2005 semester while their home institutions recover from the effects of the hurricane, College President Baird Tipson said Friday.

"Many college campuses have been devastated by this storm, and will face months-if not years-of disruption," said Tipson. "We are a small college of liberal arts and sciences, but we can do our part to help students facing the prospect of putting their educations on hold. I hope that emergency enrollment programs such as ours and those offered by other institutions will help relieve the stress and the worry that students and their families are now feeling."

To be eligible for the program, a student must be currently enrolled full-time at one of the colleges or universities in the disaster area, be in good academic standing and have paid tuition, room and board fees at their home institutions for the Fall 2005 semester. Enrollments will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis through Friday September 9. Offer of enrollment applies to students seeking visitor status for one semester.

Interested students and families can call the Washington College Office of Admissions at 410-778-7700 for more information and assistance.

Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts and sciences college located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

Statement from President Tipson on the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

I speak for the entire Washington College community in expressing dismay at the magnitude of the devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi, and concern for the many thousands of people whose lives have been disrupted by the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods, and in particular to those Washington College students, alumni, and friends personally affected by this tragedy. We have many alumni and friends from the Gulf States, and in recent years have had several alumni move to Louisiana and Alabama to pursue professional and graduate studies. Our thoughts are with them during this crisis.

In times such as these, our first inclination is to seek information and to offer assistance. We have received many calls asking about the safety of Washington College community members who might have felt the brunt of the hurricane. We have established this bulletin board to help all of us stay in touch with one another. We invite you to share your news, well wishes, or questions for those dealing with the hurricane's aftermath.

In addition, we have also received inquiries from those seeking to donate funds to aid victims of the hurricane. The link below provides a list of charitable organizations providing disaster relief and assistance.

In our increasingly interconnected world, let us remember that even the smallest charitable deed or word can make a difference in the lives of others.


Baird Tipson