Dancing on Campus

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Friday night was a big night for dance, as Haverford hosted two fantastic events on campus on April 4.

The Haverford Folk Club sponsored a Tri-College Contra Dance in Ryan Gymnasium. The event featured student band The Cellar Doors and a professional contra dance caller.

Additionally, the Tamagawa University Taiko Dance Group stopped by on their U.S. tour, to perform in the Spring Japanese Music Festival. Nearly 30 performers, dressed in traditional Japanese costumes, lit up the Marshall Auditorium stage with color, dancing and drumming.

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April Fool’s Day 2014 in the KINSC

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As is tradition, students covered the KINSC with homemade decorations in celebration of April Fool’s Day yesterday. Each department picked a theme and festooned their segment of the science building with on-theme flourishes, streamers, and trimmings.

Biology students went a Pixar theme, planting the balloon-bedecked house from Up! in the middle of Zubrow Commons and creating a Nemo-like under-the-sea-scape, replete with jellyfish, across the overpass. Those in the chemistry and psychology departments went with a Willy Wonka theme, building a miniature Wonkatania boat in the middle of the east hallway and creating a cascading “chocolate” waterfall and glass elevator in the rotunda. Our intrepid computer scientists showed their Dr. Who fandom with a handmade tardis and dalek on the first floor of Hilles. And campus’ budding physicists celebrated Blue’s Clues with blue paw-prints and a big, red “thinking chair” in their part of the building.

A gallery of just some of their creative work is below.

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Photos by Thom Carroll.

 

 

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Black Squirrels vs. Fords? Who Are We?

Happy opening day, major-league baseball fans! Our own Haverford team’s season has been in full swing for a few weeks now (though the unusually cold, long winter has required a few postponements and make-up games).

Pitcher Kyle Waney '14 circa 2012 on the mound.
Pitcher Kyle Waney ’14, circa 2012, on the mound.

 

This time of year, when the weather starts to thaw and it seems like the best way to spend a sunny afternoon is sitting in the stands rooting for the home team, we often start to wonder, who, exactly, are we cheering for? Many of our teams, like baseball, are officially known as the Fords, but with black squirrels on every t-shirt and mug on campus many think that our athletics teams are the Black Squirrels. So, which is it? Ford or Squirrel?

The expert best equipped to answer such a question was the late Greg Kannerstein ’63. The man known as “Mr. Haverford” held many roles at the College during his 41 years in service, including student, teacher, baseball coach, director of athletics, and dean, and was basically considered its unofficial historian.

In 1999 Kannerstein wrote the following explanation of our team “nickname” in an email:

“Black Squirrels has been an unofficial Haverford team nickname since the late 1980s when the baseball team noted a profusion of the mutant species around the Class of 1916 Field. The diamondmen thought the squirrels exemplified the feisty, idiosyncratic, never-say-die esprit de corps they sought for themselves, and the rest (shirts, jackets, trophies, etc.) is history. The 1990 Fords passed out Black Squirrel shirts on their summer tour of Czechoslovakia and Poland, and one of the leading pro-baseball squads in the Czech Republic is now the Chorny Wewerka, Czech for, you guessed it….

On campus and among the alums, an ideological battle has been waged for a decade. Traditionalists would rather be Fords than Squirrels, even though no one ever claimed Fords was anything but boring, banal,and unoriginal ([see also] Haverford High School, Haverford Junior High School, The Haverford School, etc.)

Basketball partisans of old prefer the Red Wave and the cult of the Honor Goats still pervades the brilliant track program at Haverford. A few aged alumni reportedly sank into eternal rest murmuring, ‘Hornets, they have to remember, it’s Hornets.’

Last year, an armistice was declared after a brilliant parliamentary maneuver by Sports Information Director John Douglas. Douglas declared that while Haverford teams’ nickname would remain Fords, the mascot would become the Black Squirrel.”

So, now you know!

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An Evening with Jose Antonio Vargas

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How do you define what it means to be “American”?

Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, filmmaker, and outspoken immigration activist, visited Haverford last Friday, March 21, as this semester’s featured speaker. Vargas, who penned the critically acclaimed 2011 New York Times Magazine article “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant,” spoke about his work developing the non-profit immigration reform organization Define American. He also shared details of his latest film project, Documented. The event, which was hosted by Speakers’ Committee, was held in Marshall Auditorium.

Before his talk, Vargas also met with 20 Haverford students over dinner. The group discussed issues of race, identity, and culture that students have experienced both on campus and off.

To read more about the dinner conversation students with Vargas, check out The Haverford Clerk.

J_Antonio_Vargas_008Photos by Brad Larrison.

 

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Art and Anarchism in the CFG

On Friday the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery opened its latest show, if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution, which takes its name from a quote by early 20th century activist Emma Goldman. The exhibit—the first of its kind—explores the political movement of anarchism through countercultural artistic practices.

Curator Natalie Musteata was on hand to celebrate her show’s opening, as were several of the exhibit’s artists and collaborators including Aldo Tambellini, Sherry Millner & Ernest Larsen, Adrian Blackwell, and members of the Wooden Shoe. Musteata also gave a gallery talk prior to the opening.

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Katie Monroe '12
Katie Monroe ’12
(From left) Associate Professor of Political Science Craig Borowiak, Curator Natalie Musteata, and artist/activist Ben Morea (from Black Mask)
(From left) Associate Professor of Political Science Craig Borowiak, Curator Natalie Musteata,and artist/activist Ben Morea (from Black Mask)

 

(From left) Artist Aldo Tambellini, Anna Salamone, and Daniel S. Palmer (Leon Levy Assistant Curator of the Jewish Museum New York) and curator Natalie Musteata
(From left) Artist Aldo Tambellini, Anna Salamone, and Daniel S. Palmer (Leon Levy Assistant Curator of the Jewish Museum New York) and curator Natalie Musteata

 

if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution is a  multi-media exhibit, featuring video, drawings, photographs, sculptures, artifacts, production stills from live theater, and even architectural plans. It includes the work of Elena Bajo, Bernadette Corporation, Adrian Blackwell, Black Mask, Lizzie Borden, Andrea Bowers & Olga Koumoundouros, John Cage, Christopher D’Arcangelo, Gayle “Asali” Dickson, Emory Douglas, Sam Durant, Larry Fink, Claire Fontaine, Luis Jacob, John Jordan & Isabelle Fremeaux & Kanonklubben, King Mob, The Living Theater, Jackson Mac Low, Sherry Millner & Ernest Larsen, Raymond Pettibon, Carolee Schneemann, and Aldo Tambellini.

 

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Provost Kim Benston. The work on TV is by The Living Theatre, and the book display is by Andrea Bowers & Olga Koumoundouros in collaboration with Wooden Shoe Books and A-Space.
Provost Kim Benston. The work on TV is by The Living Theatre, and the book display is by Andrea Bowers & Olga Koumoundouros in collaboration with Wooden Shoe Books and A-Space.
Gena Pants of Wooden Shoe with Curator Natalie Musteata
Gena Pants of Wooden Shoe with Curator Natalie Musteata

 

if I can’t dance to it, it’s not my revolution is up in the Gallery through May 2. For more information about the exhibit, a related  film series, and other events, check exhibits.haverford.edu/ificantdancetoit.

Photos by Lisa Boughter.

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French Friends

When the Haverford College International Council met in Paris last week, among the special guests at the opening dinner were four members of the Institut de France, and the chancellor of the Institut, Gabriel de Broglie. They were there to recognize the warm relationship Haverford forged with the organization in 2010, after the College returned a valuable letter written by 17th-century French philosopher René Descartes that had once belonged to the Institut.

Long thought lost, the letter had been stolen by a notorious document thief in the early 1800s and eventually ended up in the autograph collection of Charles Roberts, Haverford Class of 1864. Roberts’ widow bequeathed the enormous collection to the College more than 100 years ago, but until a Dutch researcher doing a late-night Google search turned it up in Special Collections—and the letter became the subject of an international news story—the rightful provenance of the Descartes letter had been unknown.

Then-President Stephen G. Emerson returned the letter to the Institut—a gesture that de Broglie said at the time, “exemplifies the depth of moral values that you instill in your students.”

At the recent dinner in Paris, which was hosted by Edouard and Eve Mercier P ’15 at the Automobile Club de France, de Broglie reaffirmed those fond feelings for Haverford.

Read more about the Descartes affair here.

Institut de France Chancellor Gabriel de Broglie speaks at the Haverford College International Council dinner in Paris.
Institut de France Chancellor Gabriel de Broglie spoke warmly about the return of the Descartes letter at the Haverford College International Council dinner in Paris.

 

President Dan Weiss at the International Council meeting.
President Dan Weiss at the International Council dinner.

Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Ann West Figueredo '84 and Shruti Shibulal '06, a young alumni associate member of the Board of Managers.

Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement Ann West Figueredo ’84 (left) and Shruti Shibulal ’06, a young alumni associate member of the Board of Managers.

 

(from left) Jean-Luc Marion, one of the world’s foremost Descartes scholars (and recipient of a  Haverford College honorary degree); Dean Kelly Cleary, director of Haverford's Center for Career and Professional Advising; and International Council President Henry J. Ritchotte '85.
(from left) Jean-Luc Marion, one of the world’s foremost Descartes scholars (and recipient of a Haverford College honorary degree); Dean Kelly Cleary, director of Haverford’s Center for Career and Professional Advising; and International Council President Henry J. Ritchotte ’85.

 

Photos by Peet Simard.

 

 

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Moroccan Artists on Campus as Mellon Creative Residents

 

Mohamed El Baz (left) and Mustapha Akrim, two artists from Morocco, are on campus as part of the Mellon Creative Residencies Program.
Mohamed El Baz (left) and Mustapha Akrim, two artists from Morocco, came to campus as part of the Mellon Creative Residencies Program.

An “open studio” event last week offered a glimpse of the work of Mohamed El Baz and also gave the Haverford community the chance to meet sculptor Mohamed El Baz. The two Moroccan artists are on campus as part of the Mellon Creative Residencies Program, which is sponsoring class visits across the Tri-Co and public discussions. Their residencies were planned in conjunction with the fall exhibition Memory, Place, Desire: Contemporary Art of the Maghreb and the Maghrebi Diaspora at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, and a unique course taught by Visiting Associate Professor of Art History Carol Solomon.  Titled “Curatorial Praxis: The Making of an Exhibition,” the course involves students directly in putting together the Memory, Place, Desire gallery show.

For the open studio, which was held in one of the re-purposed spaces in the old Ryan Gym squash courts, El Baz put together a presentation of images of his work and the works he is creating for the upcoming show. One of these works-in-progress is a video installation featuring students from Solomon’s “Curatorial Praxis” class, and from the Haverford community. (For more about the class and the making of the show, visit its blog.) El Baz, who arrived on campus Feb. 23, also offered small-scale reproductions of some of his works for attendees to take away as souvenirs of the event.

Mustapha Akrim, who will be on campus through the end of March, will host his own open studio event on March 18, at 7 p.m. in the Ryan squash courts.

Photos by Brad Larrison.

Flanking the entrance to the Ryan squash court space where the open studio was held, were reproductions of photographic works by Mohamed El Baz.
Flanking the entrance to the Ryan squash court space where the open studio was held, were reproductions of photographic works by Mohamed El Baz.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History Carol Solomon, whose "Curatorial Praxis" class is working on a fall exhibition at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery that will feature the work of the two artists.
Visiting Associate Professor of Art History Carol Solomon, whose “Curatorial Praxis” class is working on a fall exhibition at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery that will feature the work of the two artists.

 

Artist Mohamed El Baz talks about his work at his open studio event.
Artist Mohamed El Baz talks about his work at his open studio event.

 

Mohamed El Baz gave a presentation about his work at the event.
Mohamed El Baz shows some of his work at the event.


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Artist Mohamed El Baz offered small-scale reproductions of his work as souvenirs of the event.
Artist Mohamed El Baz offered small-scale reproductions of his work as souvenirs of the open studio event.
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Iron Chef, Dining Center Edition

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Daniel Fries ’15 (left) and Damon Motz-Storey ’16 teamed up for the Iron Chef competition.

 

Dinner hour at the Dining Center saw a lively addition to the usual fare last Friday when Fords Against Boredom hosted this year’s DC Edition of Iron Chef, a cooking competition whose participants could only use ingredients they could find in the Dining Center. As a fascinated audience observed the action in the Sunken Lounge, where work stations with hot plates and supplies had been set up, the four competing teams worked to devise an appetizer, entree, and  dessert that all used the secret ingredient: apples. And they had to do it all in under 30 minutes.

The panel of  judges, which included Miriam Abaya ’14, Dean Martha Denney, Associate Director of Dining Services Anthony Condo, and Dining Center employee Jeff Gladney, sampled the food and rated the dishes based on taste, presentation, and overall quality.

One creative cookery team (made up of  Isabel Gross ’17; Carolyn Poutasse, Jade Andrade, Shana Burstein, and Leah Hollander, all ’15; as well as Evan Joslin, a visiting professor of chemistry) found a place for the mandatory apples in a spinach salad (with cranberries, walnuts, and feta cheese), a dish of penne pasta (with grilled chicken and parmesan), and as topping for vanilla ice cream (the slices coated with cinnamon and a honey-chocolate glaze).

The competition was fierce, but Team 2, comprised of  William Tortorelli, a visiting professor of classics, and first-year students Sarah Betti ’17, Erin Lipman ’17, and Zak Oglesby ’17, emerged victorious.  Among the team’s culinary innovations was their interpretation of an Asian-influenced moo shoo pork style wrap (utilizing flour tortillas) that they assembled right on the judging table.  Their prize: Dining Dollars redeemable at campus cafe, The Coop.

 

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Team 2, the winning chefs of the evening, prepare their dishes. (from left) William Tortorelli, visiting assistant professor of classics, Sarah Betti ’17, Erin Lipman ’17, and Zak Oglesby ’17.

 

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Ali Lamacki ’16

 

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(from left) Judges Martha Denney, Dean of the College; Anthony Condo, Associate Director of Dining Services; and Jeff Gladney, who runs the  DC’s “Sizzle Bar.” Miriam Abaya ’14 also served as a judge.

 

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Photos by Thom Carroll.

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A Cappella Mid-Semester Show

Carroll-8734It’s that time of the semester again: a cappella groups are teaming up and singing out!

Last Friday night (2/28), campus groups the Oxford Blues and the Ford S-Chords partnered to present their Spring Mid-Semester Show.

The standing-room-only performance, which took place in Zubrow Commons, was comprised of old favorites and some new repertoire from each group. The Blues, an all-female group, performed first, in all black, with blue accents. The all-male S-Chords followed, singing in their signature white overalls.

The Blues and the S-Chords, who often perform at mid-semester shows together, have had a close sibling relationship since 1985, when both groups were founded.

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Oxford Blues member Fiona Lin ’14 solos.
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The Oxford Blues perform.
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Daniel Gordon ’14, a senior in the S-Chords, solos, with harmony by Joe Horowitz ’14 (right).
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The traditional S-Chords uniform for performances is casual: white painter’s overalls, t-shirts, and bare feet.
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The Ford S-Chords perform in their signature white overalls.
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A look across Zubrow Commons as the Oxford Blues perform.

Photos by Thom Carroll.

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A Young Star of Big Data

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Physicist Aaron Clauset ’01 came to Haverford last week as part of the Young Academic Alumni Lecture Series to talk about his work searching for mathematical patterns in vast seas of data. Clauset’s lecture was titled “Estimating the Historical and Future Probabilities of Large Terrorist Events,” and that’s something he’s gained a certain measure of fame for doing.

An expert on network science and statistical modeling, whose research combines computer science, mathematics, physics, and other disciplines, Clauset has published widely in top academic journals, and has been written about in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Discover, The Economist, and The Guardian, among other places. His work analyzing more than 30,000 global terror attacks that have occurred over the last 40 years became the focus of a chapter in the best-selling 2012 book by Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise.

More recently, Clauset and his collaborators analyzed the points scored in 40,000 games played during the last decade by college and pro football teams, and pro hockey and pro basketball teams. From that data he developed a mathematical model that was able to predict the outcome of games. In a story about that feat for Slate, journalist (and fellow Ford) Joel Warner ’01 called Clauset “one of the young stars of the big data movement.”

Clauset, who teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is also affiliated with the Santa Fe Institute, where he was an Omidyar Fellow, was featured in the Winter 2011 issue  of Haverford magazine. In an interview for that story, Clauset had this to say: “Much of my perspective on science I learned from the physics department at Haverford. Much of my intuition about what makes sense as scientific questions, and what mysteries I want to solve, formed at Haverford.”

To learn more about Clauset’s work, check out his blog, Structure and Strangeness.

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aaronatboardaaronseatedSMPhotos by Thom Carroll

 

 

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