Friday, March 28, 2008

Janson-La Palme Lecture Addresses French Painting in the Age of Napoléon

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Art and Art History presents the Janson-La Palme Annual Distinguished Lecture in European Art History, "Composition and Decomposition in Girodet's 'Revolt of Cairo'," a lecture by Thomas Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, in the Casey Academic Center Forum on Thursday, April 17, at 4:30 p.m. The event is free, and the public is invited to attend.

One of the world's most prominent art historians, Thomas Crow was until his recent appointment (2007) at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, the Director of the Getty Research Institute in California, a position he had held since 2000. At the same time, he was Professor of the History of Art at the University of Southern California.

Before that, Professor Crow was Robert Lehman Professor of the History of Art at Yale University (1996-2000), where he was Chair of the Department from 1997 onwards; Professor and Chair in the History of Art at the University of Sussex, UK (1990-1996); Associate Professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1986-1990); Assistant Professor of Art and Archeology at Princeton University (1980-1986); and Assistant Professor of the History of Art at the University of Chicago (1978-1980).

Dr. Crow is the author of many books, including Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Yale University Press, 1985); Emulation: Making Artists for Revolutionary France (Yale University Press, 1995; revised edition with new afterword, Emulation: 2006);Modern Art in the Common Culture (Yale University Press, 1996); The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent (Abrams, 1996; Yale University Press and Laurence King, 2005); and The Intelligence of Art (Bettie Allison Rand Lectures in Art History)(University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

Dr. Crow is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship; the Charles Rufus Morey Prize of the College Art Association; the Eric Mitchell Prize for the best first book in the history of art; being named the Durning-Lawrence Lecturer at University College, London; being named the Clifford Lecturer, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies; and being named a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, among others. He is a contributing editor of Artforum and a member of the National Committee for the History of Art.

The Janson-La Palme Annual Distinguished Lecture in European Art History was established by Washington College Professor Emeritus Robert J. H. Janson-La Palme and his wife, Bayly, to bring internationally known scholars on European art to campus for public lectures and presentations.

Previous lecturers in the series include Nicholas Penny (presently Director, National Gallery of London), Jonathan Brown (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU), the late Robert Rosenblum (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and Guggenheim Museum), and Paul Barolsky (University of Virginia). The speaker for 2010 will be Peter Humfrey (St. Andrews University, Scotland).

March 27, 2008

Gym Class Heroes to Perform at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Alternative hip-hop hitmakers Gym Class Heroes will perform at Washington College's Lifetime Fitness Center on Sunday April 13, at 7 p.m. (Doors open at 6 p.m.)

Melding elements of rap, rock, R&B and funk into one cohesive and melodic sound, upstate New York's Gym Class Heroes have diverse appeal based on their impressive musical dexterity. Often touring with indie rock and pop-punk bands, they don't fit comfortably into one specific genre; the quartet's music is rooted in traditional hip-hop, but features live instruments instead of looped samples or beats. Lyrics are often socially conscious, but also infused with humor and wry perceptiveness.

The group formed in 1997 when Travis McCoy met drummer Matt McGinley and decided to make a band. After the addition of guitarist Disashi Lumumba-Kasongo and bassist Eric Roberts, they were signed to Decaydance Records, on which they released the gold-selling album As Cruel As School Children.

Since that release, the band has garnered much success, with the single "Cupid's Chokehold" reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Clothes Off!!" peaking at #5 on the UK Singles Chart.

Tickets to the April 13 Gym Class Heroes concert are $19 for Washington College students, $21 for staff and alumni, and $25 for non-students. All tickets will be $25 on the day of the show. Advance tickets are available at Ticketmaster; call 410/547-SEAT, or visit (type "Gym Class Heroes" into the search field and follow the prompts).

March 27, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Oyster Restoration' Explored at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — One of the salient dilemmas facing the Chesapeake ecosystem will be confronted when the Center for Environment & Society presents "Oyster Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay," a lecture by Dr. Donald "Mutt" Meritt, Senior Agent at Horn Point Laboratory, and Dr. Donald Webster, Marine Science Agent at the Wye Research and Education Center, at Washington College's Wingate Lecture Hall on Tuesday, April 1, at 7 p.m.

Dr. Meritt is a leading authority on the Crassostrea virginica (that is, the American oyster) and has been at the forefront of research related to Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration. He has published widely on the subject and has appeared frequently on Maryland Public Television's "Maryland Outdoors" program.

Dr. Webster is another prominent voice addressing Chesapeake oyster issues, being known for his expertise in commercial fish and shellfish aquaculture. A highly skilled scientific SCUBA diver, he is a member of the Maryland Aquaculture Coordinating Council.

Wingate Lecture Hall is located in Goldstein Hall, Room 100. Admission to "Oyster Restoration in the Chesapeake Bay" is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/778-7295.

March 26, 2008

'Green' Industry Initiatives Explored at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Center for Environment and Society will explore ways in which the building industry is becoming more environmentally conscious with "Geothermal Energy & Zero Waste," a lecture by Dave Hoffman, Senior Vice President of Gipe Associates Inc., and Ruth Newell, Director of New Millennium Development, at Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, April 9, at 7 p.m.

The event comes during "George Goes Green" Month at Washington College, a reference to the College's sustainability program now entering its third year.

Gipe Associates is a mechanical/electrical/plumbing consulting and engineering firm with a 28-year history of providing cost-conscious designs. The firm has offices in Baltimore and Easton, allowing it to serve the entire Mid-Atlantic region.

Gipe Associates serves an array of clients, including architects and engineers, universities and colleges, public and private schools, health-care organizations and all levels of government, as well as industrial and commercial concerns.

Centreville-based New Millennium Development (NMD) specializes in sustainable project assessment and development, inspired by and adhering to goals set forth in the Sustainable Development Initiative promulgated by the United Nations in 2000. NMD's mission is to expand the market demand for zero-waste technologies, particularly those utilizing rapidly renewable resources and waste byproducts. NMD's stated goals are "to educate, enable and empower multiple industry sectors, one community at a time by providing high-impact learning experiences."

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "Geothermal Energy & Zero Waste" is free and open to the public. For more information, call 410/810-7162.

March 26, 2008

Philosophy, Rare Editions and 'Witcraft' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — It will be an occasion of gifts—the intellectual gifts of a distinguished American philosopher, and the tangible gifts of rare literary treasures he is donating to Washington College. Dr. Alan Pasch, Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland Department of Philosophy, will present "The Art of Witcraft" in the Sophie Kerr Room at the College's Miller Library on Tuesday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m.

The talk and reception celebrate Dr. Pasch's donation to Miller Library of his considerable collection of rare historical texts on logic and the English language.

Some of the texts date to the 1400s and include early or otherwise rare editions by such thinkers as Thomas Hobbes, Henry Aldrich, Isaac Watts, Noah Webster, Lewis Carroll, George Boole and others.

Dr. Pasch has long been a respected voice on the American philosophical scene. His Experience and the Analytic: A Reconsideration of Empiricism was published in 1958 in the midst of what was being described as "a series of fratricidal quarrels" among philosophers. The arrival of Pasch's book, according to the review in the journal Ethics, offered "the latest, and best formulation" for a way out of the war that had arisen between logical empiricists and pragmatists.

Pasch was lauded for "the virtues of this book which combines a sense of a larger philosophic and historical context with a careful treatment of recent, vexed controversies.... Pasch performs a useful service."

The rare texts Dr. Pasch is donating to Miller Library will be on view during the presentation. Admission to "The Art of Witcraft" is free and open to the public.

March 26, 2008

'Miss Witherspoon' Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Christopher Durang's "Miss Witherspoon" at the Prince Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 28 and 29, at 8 p.m.

Durang is one of America's most celebrated current playwrights, renowned for his skewed, insightful sense of humor. Both Timeand Newsday hailed "Miss Witherspoon" as one of the Ten Best Plays of 2005.

Time's Richard Corliss dubbed it "an endearingly meditative farce... It's a pleasure to note that [Durang] hasn't lost his screwball." And Newsday's Linda Winer raved, "This is Durang at the top of his metaphysical, apocalyptic, high-cultural game ... thoroughly lovable. And funny."

"Miss Witherspoon" charts the otherworldly course of a recent suicide who discovers that she must return in order to fix her "brown tweedy aura." Aiding and accompanying her on her quest from here to eternity and back again is an unusual spiritual guide.

The upcoming Washington College production of "Miss Witherspoon," directed by Senior Carey Walden, features Mary Lide, Ashley Jones, Ben Mason, Maggie Kobik and Jess Dugger.

Admission to "Miss Witherspoon" is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

March 26, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Poet/Alumna Erin Murphy Presents Reading at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Erin Murphy, a Washington College graduate who has gone on to enjoy a post-collegiate career as a poet, will return to her alma mater to present a reading in the Sophie Kerr Room on Wednesday, April 9, at 4 p.m.

Murphy (class of 1990) is the author of Dislocation and Other Theories, Science of Desire, and Too Much of This World (winner of the Anthony Piccione Poetry Prize). She is Assistant Professor of English at Penn State Altoona.

She has received the Foley Poetry Award, the National Writers' Union Poetry Award judged by Donald Hall, a $5,000 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize, and fellowships from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

Murphy's reading is part of Washington College's 2007-2008 Sophie Kerr Lecture Series. The series honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture.

When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington 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"—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to Erin Murphy's April 9 poetry reading is free and open to the public. The Sophie Kerr Room is located in Miller Library. For more information, call 410/778-7879.

March 25, 2008

Eminent International Writer Begins Four-Week Residency at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Award-winning novelist Nuruddin Farah, widely considered the most important living African writer, arrives in Chestertown, Maryland this week for an unprecedented four-week visit residency at the Rose O'Neill Literary House at Washington College.

Farah is the first-ever PEN World Voices Festival/Washington College Fellow in International Letters, a program created together by the PEN American Center, the premier literary and human rights organization, and Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House. The fellowship will be offered each year to a distinguished participant in the famed PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature. The 2008 festival kicks off April 29 in New York City.

"It's rare that an international writer gets the chance to live and write in an idyllic 18th century American town," says Rose O'Neill Literary House director Joshua Wolf Shenk, explaining the appeal of the partnership with PEN. "And it's even more rare that the citizens of such a small town have the chance to engage intimately with such an eminent writer from abroad." Farah's residency is co-sponsored by Washington College's Cater Society of Junior Fellows and Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

Born in Somalia in 1945, Farah was forced to flee his home region in 1963 and now lives in South Africa. Farah's acclaimed novels—including the trilogies Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship and Blood in the Sun—tell the stories of his homeland, of Diaspora, and of the struggle for dignity, identity and community. The New York Review of Books has praised Farah as "one of the most sophisticated voices in modern fiction." "Nuruddin Farah," says Leonard Lopate, "has not only been hailed at the most important African writer in the last 25 years. He is believed by many to be among the great writers of the world."

Farah's novels have been translated into 17 languages and have won numerous awards. He was named the 1998 Laureate of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, described by the New York Times as "the most prestigious award after the Nobel."

Farah will share insights on the writer's craft, the writing life, and his life of engagement with the culture and politics of Africa. He will introduce himself to Washington College on Thursday April 3, at 7 p.m., in an event sponsored by the Cater Society of Junior Fellows, entitled "From Somalia to South Africa to the Eastern Shore: A Conversation With Nuruddin Farah," at Hynson Lounge.

On Thursday, April 10, at Hynson Lounge, the acclaimed author will lecture before the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs. And on April 17, the entire community is invited to share an evening with Farah at the Rose O'Neill Literary House. Coffee and dessert will be served at 7 p.m., followed by a presentation at 7:30 p.m. All Farah's presentations are free and open to the public.

Farah's residency comes amid two significant events at the venerable Rose O'Neill Literary House: the official re-unveiling of the newly restored and renovated writers' hub and salon; and the two-month long Shelter Festival of the Arts, a multi-disciplinary celebration being presented by the Literary House and the arts faculty of Washington College. Farah's April 17 presentation will close the Shelter Festival, which has brought a Russian-born video artist, a New York hip hop theater star, and a Cambodian arts ensemble to campus.

The Rose O'Neill Literary House is also a co-sponsor of Farah's appearances at the PEN World Voices Festival, which includes a presentation on "Writing Place, Finding Refuge," on May 1, at 7 p.m., at the Brooklyn Public Library.

March 25, 2008

'In Search of Sepharad' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Campus Events and Visitors Fund will present "In Search Of Sepharad: Seeking Jewish Roots In Medieval Muslim And Christian Spain," a slide lecture by Dr. Gary Schiff, Adjunct Professor of History at Washington College, in Miller Library's Sophie Kerr Room on Tuesday, April 1, at 6 p.m. Dr. Schiff will augment the talk with photographic imagery taken during his recent travels in Spain.

Medieval Spain was a center of Jewish culture, flourishing alongside the Muslim and Christian elements. Cordoba, Spain, for example, was the birthplace of the great Jewish philosopher and physician Maimonides. "Sepharad" is the Hebrew name for Spain.

Admission to "In Search of Sepharad: Seeking Jewish Roots in Medieval Muslim and Christian Spain" is free and open to the public.

March 25, 2008

Insider's Advice on 'Getting Published' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Gregg Wilhelm, executive director of Baltimore CityLit, will present "Getting Published" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Thursday, April 3, at 4:30 p.m.

Wilhelm has been in the book business for about 15 years as an editor, publisher, marketer and production manager for various presses. He has worked for Johns Hopkins University Press, Tidewater Publishers and Woodholme House Publishers, which he founded in 1996.

In 2001 he started a consulting business, Bookwise Associates, then in 2004 a nonprofit literary arts organization, CityLit Project.

CityLit Project nurtures the culture of literature through a comprehensive approach that improves writers, supports publishers, showcases authors, encourages readers, publishes books, and entertains and educates the public, thus fostering a community that values literature from the first stroke of the pen to the last chapter the story.

Wilhelm is past president of the Mid-Atlantic Publishers' Association.

Admission to "Getting Published" is free and open to the public.

March 25, 2008

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Calling All Poetry Lovers: Kent County Poetry Festival Wants You

Chestertown, MD — Calling all Kent County poetry lovers: Do you have an all-time favorite poem (by any poet) to share with others? If so, then the first annual "Kent County Poetry Festival: A Day of Public Poetry in Celebration of National Poetry Month" wants you.

Presented by Washington College and the Kent County Arts Council, the event will be held in the Book Plate at 112 S. Cross Street on Friday, April 4, from 4 to 7 p.m.

People from throughout the county will gather to read aloud their favorite lines from the world of verse—a reminder that poetry, rather than being some rarefied specimen, is in fact a vital, living art with many facets and widespread appeal.

"This program is in the spirit of the 'Favorite Poem Project' pioneered by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate of the United States," said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of Washington College.

"The goal is to bring together diverse peoples in our community around the poetry people know and love to share and, in doing so, debunk the idea that poetry is just something for academics to study. During National Poetry Month, we want to illustrate the role that poetry can have in enriching our everyday lives."

Robert Earl Price, lecturer and writer in residence in the Drama Department at Washington College, is the organizer of the project. Sign-up sheets have been posted at various locations throughout the county; persons interested in participating also may e-mail to become part of the readers' roster.

March 21, 2008

Cool Careers 101: Washington College Grads Present 'Fun Jobs Are Not Fiction'

Chestertown, MD — A cornucopia of fascinating jobs can be found in the realm of editing and publishing—just ask four recent graduates of Washington College. They're returning to their alma mater to present "Fun Jobs Are Not Fiction: How Four Washington College Writers Launched Careers as Media Mavens" at the Rose O'Neill Literary House on Saturday, March 29, at 2 p.m.

The panel discussion will feature Renee Farrah (Class of '07) of Wildside Press, Laura Greenback ('05) of B'More Live, Peter Knox ('06) of John Wylie & Sons, and Kim Last ('07) of

Since its founding in 1989, Wildside Press has become one of the industry's leading publishers of science fiction and fantasy. Nominated six times for the World Fantasy Award for publishing excellence, Wildside Press publishes books, magazines and audiobooks in multiple genres, including not only science fiction and fantasy, but mystery, classics and paranormal romance.

B'more Live is Baltimore's new entertainment magazine, web site and mobile homepage. It offers bar and restaurant reviews, live music previews, an events database and features on hot local events.

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons is one of the oldest independent publishing companies in the world. It brought forth the works of such 19th-century American literary icons as James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe. Today, Wiley produces books, journals and encyclopedias, in print and electronically, as well as online products and services. is the online incarnation of Forbesmagazine, one of the premier business and financial journals. In addition to its superlative stock-market coverage, it also is a site filled with the latest information on technology, personal finance and lifestyle.

"Fun Jobs Are Not Fiction" is sponsored by the Maureen Jacoby Endowment in Editing & Publishing and the Rose O'Neill Literary House. Admission is free and open to the public.

March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yale Historian Presents 'A Slave No More' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — One of the nation's most distinguished historians is visiting Washington College to share the story of discovery surrounding the publication of two recently unearthed slave narratives. Professor David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American history and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance & Abolition at Yale University, will present "A Slave No More: Two Recently Discovered Slave Narratives and the Story of Emancipation" at the Casey Academic Center Forum on Monday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Blight's talk is the third in the 2007-08 Crossings to Freedom Lecture Series offered by the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. The series highlights the experiences of enslaved people who made the transition to freedom in the years prior to and during the Civil War.

Professor Blight will share the story of the events through which these previously unknown narratives came to light, and the details of the lives they reveal. Alabama field hand Wallace Turnage and Virginia urban slave John Washington never met, but both escaped to the North during the chaos of the Civil War and managed to record their personal stories—powerful testimonies of heroic, painful and ultimately inspiring lives.

The manuscripts were passed down from generation to generation in private hands, only recently coming to the attention of historians eager to add to our understanding of what Blight describes as "one of the most revolutionary transitions in American history." Authenticated, introduced, and situated in context in Blight's A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Narratives of Emancipation (Harcourt, 2007), they have been hailed as "a major new addition to the canon of American history."

Dr. Blight is considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on the Civil War, its causes and its legacy. His book Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2001) earned a number of awards, including the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Lincoln Prize, and the Bancroft Prize. Dr. Blight's other books include Frederick Douglas's Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989) and Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory, and the American Civil War(2002). He has edited and co-edited five other books, including Union and Emancipation: Essays on Politics and Race in the Civil War Era (1997), and is the co-author of the U.S. history textbook A People and a Nation.

Blight has also been a consultant to several documentary films, including the 1998 PBS series, "Africans in America." He is deeply involved in the public history world, teaching summer institutes for National Park Service rangers and historians, and serving on the board of trustees at the New-York Historical Society and as a member of the board of advisors to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. He has a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and for seven years was a public high school teacher in his hometown of Flint, Michigan.

A booksigning will follow Dr. Blight's March 31 presentation. Admission to "A Slave No More" is free and open to the public.

March 12, 2008

John Page Williams Presents 'John Smith's Chesapeake' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — John Page Williams, Senior Naturalist at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, will present "John Smith's Chesapeake and What It Can Teach Us About Saving the Bay Today" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Wednesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture is being presented by the Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies.

Williams, the author of Chesapeake: Exploring the Water Trail of Captain John Smith and other works, will be on hand for a booksigning following his presentation.

Williams has been serving as the lead Chesapeake Bay Foundation staffer in a partnership with the Conservation Fund and the National Geographic Society to develop the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail.

He also works on a grassroots campaign to develop a strong, active constituency of anglers and boaters throughout the Chesapeake/Susquehanna watershed to improve water quality.

A veteran author and educator, Williams shares his encyclopedic knowledge of Bay science, history and culture with audiences all over the region. For more than three decades, he has led thousands of students, adults and government officials on tours of the Bay and its rivers and streams.

The Joseph H. McLain Program in Environmental Studies was established in 1990 to focus attention on and augment study in the fields of aquatic and environmental studies. The Program supports lectures and symposia featuring visiting scientists and other professionals on matters of environmental interest, particularly relating to the Chesapeake Bay.

Litrenta Lecture Hall is located in the John S. Toll Science Center. Admission to "John Smith's Chesapeake and What It Can Teach Us About Saving the Bay Today" is free and open to the public.

March 12, 2008

USC Professor Explores Colonial New England's 'Face of the Land' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Dr. Karen Haltunnen, Professor of History at the University of Southern California, will present "The Face of the Land: Natural Histories of Colonial New England, 1790-1876" at Washington College's Casey Academic Center Forum on Tuesday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m.

"The Face of the Land," this year's Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture, is being presented by the Washington College Department of History and the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Dr. Halttunen is an authority on U.S. cultural and intellectual history. She is the author ofConfidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870(1982) and Murder Most Foul: The Killer and the American Gothic Imagination (1998). Her current work, which thematically relates to her upcoming lecture at Washington College, is on landscape and antiquity in 19th century New England.

The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1989 to honor the memory of the late history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The intent of the endowed lecture series is to bring a distinguished historian to campus each year to lecture and to spend time with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow's vibrant teaching style.

Admission to "The Face of the Land: Natural Histories of Colonial New England, 1790-1876" is free and open to the public.

March 12, 2008

'Enter Laughing' Staged at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Washington College Department of Drama will present Joseph Stein's "Enter Laughing" at the Norman James Theatre on Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, at 8 p.m.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by comic genius Carl Reiner, "Enter Laughing" centers on the journey of young aspiring actor David Kolowitz as he tries to extricate himself from overly protective parents (who want him to be a married pharmacist) and two too many girlfriends, while struggling to meet the challenges of life in 1930s New York City.

The original Broadway production of "Enter Laughing" opened in March 1963 at Henry Miller's Threatre, where it ran for 419 performances. The cast included Alan Arkin and Sylvia Sidney. Arkin won both the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and the Theatre World Award for his performance.

In 1967 Reiner himself wrote the screenplay for and directed a film version starring Reni Santoni, José Ferrer, Shelley Winters, Elaine May, and a young Rob Reiner. summed it up nicely: "'Enter Laughing' is a riot, especially for those viewers who have ever participated in amateur theatricals themselves."

The upcoming Washington College production of "Enter Laughing," directed by Senior Rachel Holland, features Corey Holland, Brian Schultz, Andy Matthews, Aileen Brenner, Molly O'Connell, Laura Walters, Lindsay Dutton, Daniel Bienemann, Travis Brown, John MacLellan and Katie Skarwecki.

Admission to "Enter Laughing" is free, but reservations are required; call 410/778-7835 or e-mail

March 12, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist Jane Smiley Visits Washington College for Sophie Kerr Weekend

Chestertown, MD — Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley will kick off the annual Sophie Kerr Weekend with a reading at Norman James Theatre on Friday, March 28, at 4 p.m.

Smiley, who holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, is the author of 11 novels, includingA Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1992. She also is the author of four books of nonfiction, including Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel (2005). Her essays have been published inVogue, The New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times, The Nation and many other publications.

Smiley's latest novel, Ten Days in the Hills, was published in 2007 by Knopf/Random House. A re-imagining of Boccaccio's Decameron set among the Hollywood crowd in the opening days of the Iraq War in 2003, Ten Days in the Hills has enjoyed universal acclaim.

"The book is generating early buzz," observed The Wall Street Journal. In a starred review,Publishers Weekly hailed the hot new novel as a "scintillating tale... Smiley delivers a delightful, subtly observant sendup of Tinseltown folly, yet she treats her characters ... with warmth and seriousness." The Philadelphia Inquirer praises the author for "delivering a Tinseltown classic." The Los Angeles Times Book Review declared the novel "a blazing farce, a fiery satire of contemporary celebrity culture and a rich, simmering meditation on the price of war and fame and desire." The Times U.K. called it a "highly entertaining yet thoughtful examination of postmillenial America."

Dubbed "the reigning master of social satire" by Elle magazine, Smiley received the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature in 2006.

Held every March at Washington College, the Sophie Kerr Weekend gives a group of high school-age writers a chance to experience the College's renowned creative writing program through readings, seminars and small-group workshops with visiting authors and faculty members.

The Sophie Kerr Weekend also honors the legacy of the late Sophie Kerr, a writer from Denton, Md., whose generosity has enriched Washington College's literary culture. When she died in 1965, Kerr left the bulk of her estate to Washington 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"—the famed Sophie Kerr Prize—and the other half be used to bring visiting writers to campus, to fund scholarships and to help defray the costs of student publications.

Admission to Jane Smiley's March 28 presentation is free and open to the public.

March 11, 2008

Hip-hop Artist Will Power to Perform at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — The Shelter Arts Festival, a two-month celebration of literature, music and the performing arts presented by the Rose O'Neill Literary House, continues with a performance by hip-hop artist Will Power at Washington College's Norman James Theatre on Monday, March 24, at 5 p.m.

Hailed by Speak Out! as "a pioneer in hip-hop theatre," Will Power is a dynamic actor, rapper, playwright and spoken-word artist whose work is internationally recognized. His performances, workshops and lectures have been seen in 25 states and over 55 cities abroad.

In his performances, Power explores critical issues that face society. Topics such as race, culture, HIV, violence, intergenerational communication and the celebration of life are addressed with dexterity and the ability to foster dialogue and understanding.

As a cultural and community activist, Power has conducted hundreds of workshops in schools, community centers, colleges and universities. He has helped facilitate the creative expression of young people by providing them with information on creative writing, performance for the spoken word, storytelling, hip-hop theatre, the history of hip-hop culture, and rap/rhyme in performance.

From 1997 to 2000, Power was the lead vocalist of the Omar Sosa Sextet, an internationally renowned band known for its innovative fusion of jazz, Latin rhythms and hip-hop. The sextet released four critically acclaimed albums, Free Roots, Spirit of the Roots, Bembon andPrietos.

Power was cast as the male lead in the film "Drylongso," which was a hit at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, and has been shown extensively on the Independent Film Channel and BET. He has been featured in numerous publications such as Vibe, The Source and American Theatre, and on television networks including NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC. His lyrics and music have been heard on MTV and in sitcoms such as "Moesha."

March 11, 2008

Middle-Class Insecurity: 'Unequal at the Start' Presented at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Professor Jennifer L. Erkulwater of the University of Richmond will present "Unequal at the Start: Education Policy and the Politics of Middle-Class Insecurity" at Washington College's Hynson Lounge on Wednesday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Erkulwater's lecture is being presented by the Goldstein Program in Public Affairs.

Dr. Erkulwater is assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Richmond. She received her B.A. from Rhodes College in 1995, and her Ph.D. from Boston College in 2001.

She came to UR after completing a fellowship at the Brookings Institution, the Washington, D.C.-based policy institute. She researches the American welfare state, disability policy and politics, and education. She was the winner of the 2002 Heinz Award given by the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Erkulwater is the author of Disability Rights and the American Social Safety Net (Cornell University Press, 2006). Yale Law School Sterling Professor of Law Jerry L. Mashaw praised the book, stating, "Jennifer L. Erkulwater has a particularly fine understanding of the interplay among congressional, bureaucratic, and judicial politics in the creation of modern social welfare programs. Her story of the expansion of disability rights weaves these threads together in a way that has not been done before."

The Louis L. Goldstein Program in Public Affairs was established in 1990 to encourage students to enter public service by introducing them to exemplary leaders, both in and out of government. The Goldstein Program has hosted journalists, political activists, foreign policy analysts, diplomats, military commanders and government officials of both national and international stature.

The Goldstein Program sponsors lectures, symposia, visiting fellows, student participation in models and conferences, and other projects that bring students and faculty together with leaders experienced in developing public policy.

Hynson Lounge is located in Hodson Hall. Admission to "Unequal at the Start" is free and open to the public.

March 11, 2008

Land-Use Planning Meets Preservation: 'Reclaiming the Strip' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Author and conservationist Randall Arendt will present "Reclaiming the Strip: Toward a Smarter, More Sustainable Future for our Gateway Approaches" at Washington College's Litrenta Lecture Hall on Tuesday, March 25, at 7 p.m.

The seminar is being presented by the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, the Kent County government and Washington College's Center for Environment & Society.

As a writer, landscape planner and conservation planning advocate, Randall Arendt is at the forefront of efforts to preserve the beauty of rural and exurban regions by ensuring that growth is approached judiciously. He is the head of the Rhode Island-based Greener Prospects, a unique consulting firm that bridges the gap between land-use planning and land conservation. The author of more than 20 publications, he received the American Institute of Architects' Award for Collaborative Achievement in 2005.

In his March 25 seminar at Washington College, Arendt will focus on practical ways to reclaim the highway strip, rebuilding it gradually with multi-story, mixed-use buildings instead of single-story, single-use strip structures.

The presentation will take a case-study approach, using a large number of projects as examples to illustrate various site designing and planning concepts, addressing both highway corridor strip developments and in-town infill situations. His examples will be from rural and suburbanizing areas similar to Chestertown and other Eastern Shore towns.

Admission to "Reclaiming the Strip" is free and open to the public. For more information, contact 410/827-9756, or

March 11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dark Visions and Internet Artistry: 'Literature at the Margins' Comes to Washington College

Chestertown, MD — A Chestertown native, author of science fiction and historical mystery who doubles as a staff writer for the Kent County News. An Indian-American scholar who is one of the leading authorities on 20th-century horror icon H.P. Lovecraft and other masters of the macabre. A pair of internet-based artists at the forefront of the webcomics scene. This unique assemblage of notable talents—Peter J. Heck, S.T. Joshi, Jeph Jacques and Aaron Diaz, respectively—will gather to discuss "Literature at the Margins" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Friday, March 21, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, March 22, at 1 p.m.

Peter Heck is the author of numerous science fiction and historical mystery works, including nearly a dozen novels. He is perhaps best known for his "Mark Twain Mysteries"—historical whodunits featuring the famous author as a detective - and his "Phule's Company" series, written in collaboration with Robert Asprin. Heck has also been an editor at Ace Books, where he edited Lynn S. Hightower and Robert J. Sawyer among others. He is the creator of the SF newsletter Xignals and its mystery equivalent Crime Times for the Waldenbooks chain.

Heck is a regular reviewer for Asimov's Science Fiction and Kirkus reviews, and has reviewed for The Washington Post. Heck earned degrees from Harvard and Johns Hopkins before beginning advanced grad work at Indiana, teaching at several universities, including Indiana, Temple, and Dowling College, before leaving to pursue a life of writing and editing. Heck's recent accomplishments include the editing of Harry Turtledove books for Del-Ray. Heck is currently a staff writer for the Kent County News.

Literary scholar S.T. Joshi is a leading figure in the study of H.P. Lovecraft and other authors. Besides producing what many critics consider to be the definitive Lovecraft biography (H.P. Lovecraft: A Life, winner of the 1996 Bram Stoker Award for Nonfiction), Joshi has written about the great Edwardian ghost-story authors Lord Dunsany and M.R. James, as well as other literary figures including H. L. Mencken. In addition to his biographical works, Joshi has written a number of books charting the evolution of the weird tale via its most significant proponents in each era. He won the International Horror Guild's awards for nonfiction in 2005 and 2006. He also has authored a significant amount of social criticism centering on themes of prejudice, political polemics and religion.

The time-honored art of the comic strip has enjoyed a booming renaissance in the cyber-age, as webcomic sites have flourished in ever-increasing numbers. Among the growing stable of internet-based sequential artists, Jeph Jacques is a standout. His "Questionable Content" ("QC") site, featuring the ongoing saga of a hapless (and universally recognizable) group of post-collegiate indie-hipster types, melds a deceptively simple drawing style with wry insights into American twentysomething culture.

"QC is tremendously fulfilling for me, mainly because I know I'm doing the best I can with it at any given point," Jacques said in an interview with Comixpedia. "The fact that so many other people seem to enjoy it and identify with the characters and laugh at the jokes is a nice bonus, but I'd still be doing the comic even if nobody was paying any attention. If it wasn't worth it I wouldn't do it."

A similar success story can be found in the career of Aaron Diaz who, already at the age of 24, is making a full-time living from his popular webcomic "Dresden Codak." It must have been with great pleasure that the young writer-illustrator was able to declare on October 26, 2007, "I have decided to go full-time with the comic. My regular day job ends in a week."

"Dresden Codak" has won or been nominated for several Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards in the last couple of years. An intoxicating stew of science, philosophy and comic artistry, "Dresden Codak" riffs on theories from postmodernism, quantum physics and psychology, putting its characters through a surreal "celebration of science, death and human folly," as Diaz describes it. "Not only is Diaz's art top-notch, but it's backed up by some great writing," raved Webcomicgeek.

Admission to both sessions of "Literature at the Margins" at the Rose O'Neill Literary House is free and open to the public.

March 10, 2008

Performance Artist Laurie Anderson Deconstructs Warhol's "Little Electric Chair" in Second 'American Pictures' Lecture at the Smithsonian

Washington — Laurie Anderson, known for her brilliant multimedia performances, will appear at the Smithsonian on Saturday, March 15, to discuss Andy Warhol's "Little Electric Chair."

Anderson's lecture is part of the new American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by Washington College in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. On four Saturdays this spring, an all-star lineup of speakers—Anderson, novelist Allan Gurganus, author Garry Wills and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith—will each explore a single powerful image in American art.

Warhol's iconic "Little Electric Chair," acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, is part of a series he began in the early 1960s based on a Wide World Photos image of the execution device used at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York, where Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were infamously executed as Soviet spies in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.

Laurie Anderson is one of our premier performance artists, and has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist and instrumentalist. Recognized worldwide as a groundbreaking leader in the use of technology in the arts, she has invented new instruments such as the tape-bow violin and the talking stick. Her visual work has been presented in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. Winner of the 2007 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, Anderson is currently working on a new album, Homeland.

Her March 15 "American Pictures" lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 4:30 p.m. in the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at 8th and F Sts., N.W., in Washington, D.C. There will be free bus service, courtesy of Valliant & Associates, from Chestertown. Call 410-810-7165 or e-mail to reserve seats on the bus and/or at the lectures. For more information about the series, visit

March 10, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008

'Atlantic Monthly' Editor Describes 'Magazine Scene' at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Scott Stossel, managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, will present an insider's view of "The Magazine Scene" at Washington College's Rose O'Neill Literary House on Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m.

From Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter From Birmingham Jail," from Mark Twain to Andrew Sullivan, the venerable Atlantic has been at the vanguard of American periodicals since 1857. Founded in Boston, the magazine originally was helmed by the likes of Emerson, Longfellow and other 19th-century New England literary lions. Today, it has a subscription base alone of nearly half a million readers, and it remains one of the best-written and most insightful magazines covering everything from cultural trends to politics to foreign affairs.

Scott Stossel has been associated with the magazine off and on since 1992 when, shortly after graduating from Harvard, he joined the staff and helped to launch The Atlantic Online. In addition to his Atlantic work, he has written articles for The New Yorker, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other publications.

Stossel's 2004 book, Sarge: The Life and Times of Sargent Shriver, was praised by Publisher's Weekly as "a superbly researched, immensely readable political biography."

Within the Atlantic offices, Stossel will be forever remembered as the managing editor who oversaw the magazine's historic 2005 move to Washington from Boston. Under his supervision, the magazine shifted all of its operations from Boston's North End to the Watergate building, all the while producing issues that were later nominated for National Magazine Awards.

Admission to "The Magazine Scene" is free and open to the public.

March 7, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Board of Visitors and Governors Approves Tuition Increase for the 2008-2009 Academic Year

Chestertown, MD — Washington College's Board of Visitors and Governors has approved a 5.74 percent increase to the College's tuition and fee schedule for the 2008-2009 academic year. Under the Board's plan, tuition for full-time students will increase by $1,815 to $33,385, while the basic charge for on-campus housing will rise by $200 to $3,650. Basic board fees will increase by $190 to $3,530 and the Student Service Fee will increase by $30 to $620. The total cost for tuition, room, full board, and fees for 2008-2009 will be $41,185.

The 5.74 increase in total costs is somewhat lower than last year's increase of 6.28 percent.

"Like many other institutions, Washington College is feeling the impact of the rising costs for energy and health care on our operating budget," said Baird Tipson, President of the College.

"Even in these tight economic times, we are moving ahead with a number of important projects. Two new student residence halls are scheduled to open for use in time for the fall semester. An expanded and full renovated Gibson Performing Arts Center is expected to reopen this time next year. Finally, a dining pavilion is under construction on campus for student use in academic year 2008-2009, while Hodson Hall is offline for a thorough renovation and expansion. The new Hodson Hall will reopen in August 2009. These state-of-the-art facilities will be a tremendous boon to student life, but they do come with a higher operating cost."

Tipson noted that while the College continually works to offset the actual cost of a college education through fundraising, grant writing, and endowment income, tuition still plays the predominant role in covering the annual costs of maintaining and operating the institution, and Washington College is competitively priced.

"While we advance the College's position as one of the nation's great small liberal arts colleges, we remain competitive in our tuition and room and board costs," Tipson added. "Even after extensive renovations and updates to our residences, our room and board costs are the third lowest among 79 similar institutions. Likewise, our combined tuition, room and board charges fall exactly in the middle when compared to this group of leading liberal arts colleges."

Scholarships and financial aid offset the actual tuition cost by an average of 36 percent. According to the College's financial aid statistics for 2007-2008, 82 percent of students receive merit or need-based institutional aid. When combined with federal, state and private scholarships, grants and loans, Washington College students receive an average award of $16,466 per student.

"Ultimately, parents and students have to weigh these factors against the successful outcomes of the intensively personal and challenging education that Washington College provides," Tipson said. "Our commitment to our students is clear, and our graduates know the benefits for years to come."

March 3, 2008

From Washington College to Washington, D.C.: 'American Pictures' Opens with Author Allan Gurganus at Smithsonian, March 8

Washington — Allan Gurganus, critically acclaimed author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, will kick off the new American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series at the Smithsonian on March 8, as he unravels the mysteries of Thomas Eakins' famous portrait of Walt Whitman.

Sponsored by Washington College in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the series features an all-star lineup of eminent cultural figures—Gurganus, performance artist Laurie Anderson, author Garry Wills and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith—who, on four Saturdays this spring, will each explore a single powerful image in American art.

The Eakins portrait was Whitman's favorite, and the making of it the foundation of a great friendship, according to Gurganus, who will explore that alchemy in the very building—the Old Patent Office, which now houses the two Smithsonian museums—where Whitman nursed wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

For more than 30 years, Gurganus's fiction has been celebrated for its dark humor, erotic candor and folkloric sweep. John Cheever called him "the most technically gifted and morally responsive writer of his generation." He has won numerous awards for his work, which includes White People, Plays Well with Others, and, most recently, The Practical Heart: Four Novellas. Gurganus himself studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Eakins taught, and will appear on the documentary "Walt Whitman, An American," in April on PBS.

All of the lectures will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium of the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture at 8th and F Sts., N.W. in Washington, D.C. There will be free bus service, courtesy of Valliant & Associates, from Chestertown. Call 410-810-7165 or e-mail to reserve seats on the bus and/or at the lectures. For more information about the series, visit

March 3, 2008