Faculty Digest


In June, Rita Kipp codirected a three-week tour to Southeast Asia for nine teachers from various colleges who wanted to learn more about that region. The tour, and a seminar of the same duration that took place at Kenyon in the summer of 1998, were funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation to ASIANetwork, a consortium to which the College belongs. The seminar group traveled to Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. At the end of the tour, Kipp went on to Jakarta, Indonesia, for a week of library research on a project about Indonesia's Christian minority. John Macionis is on sabbatical for the 1999-2000 academic year. He will be writing or revising four texts as well as working on various World Wide Web sites. The Macionis family spent the summer at Lake George in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Howard Sacks directed a three-week summer field school in June, "Documenting Local Culture," cosponsored by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The school brought fifteen librarians, museum staff members, teachers, and local historians to Kenyon to learn research techniques--including interviewing, documentary photography, and archiving--and to develop projects for presentation in their home communities. Participants spent much of their stay doing fieldwork, documenting life along the Kokosing River in northwestern Knox County. In August, Sacks gave two presentations at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Society in Chicago, Illinois. The papers shared work completed in conjunction with the College's Rural Life Center. Patricia Urban and Edward Schortman spent June and July in Honduras, with two goals: making arrangements for the upcoming Kenyon-Honduras Semester, in the spring of 2000, and beginning research in a new valley, home to the Cacautapa River. The National Science Foundation funded the preliminary research this summer, as well as further work to be done next spring. In mid-July, Urban and Schortman presented three papers at a conference in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in honor of archeologist George Hasseman, who died last fall. The papers, all on the Middle Preclassic (12599-800 B.C.) remains from the Naco Valley, were then condensed into one for a conference the following week in Guatemala City, sponsored by the Guatemalan Institute for Archaology. Urban and Schortman also presented a paper by Marne Ausec, a graduate of Albion College who participated in the Kenyon Honduras Project in 1988 and went on to become the project's lab director for many years.

Art and Art History

The Secret Stars, a picture book by Professor Emeritus of Art Joseph Slate (illustrated by Felipe Davalos), was placed on the Americas Award Commended List for 1998. The award is given in recognition of books in English or Spanish that "authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States." Slate attended the awards ceremony on June 18 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where he and his wife, Patty, now make their home. Slate's first young-adult novel, Crossing the Trestle, came out in October 1999, and a craft kit based on his Miss Bindergarten character appeared in September. The two Miss Bindergarten books appeared on the Publisher's Weekly top ten children's books bestseller list this past year, and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is now a featured book on the Core Knowledge Head Start home book reading program. A third book in the series is scheduled for publication in 2000.


During her 1998-99 sabbatical year, Joan Slonczewski published a paper on "Genes Induced by Acid or Base in Escherichia coli," in the Journal of Bacteriology, with coauthors Darcy Blankenhorn and Judy Phillips '00. At the University of Maryland at Baltimore, she studied pH-regulated genes in Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes gastritis. The H. pylori samples were sent back to Kenyon for Phillips to run two-dimensional electrophoretic gels; the results of this collaboration have been submitted for publication. In June, Slonczewski served on the Committee of Visitors at the National Science Foundation to review its grant-award program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences. She has also completed a new science-fiction novel, Brain Plague, about intelligent microbes invading human brains.


On April 14, Scott Cummings presented a departmental seminar at Bowling Green State University's Center for Photochemical Sciences; the next day, he was awarded the Trustee Junior Teaching Award at Kenyon's Honors Day. This summer, he worked with Summer Science Scholars Jessica Carney '00, John Oppenheimer '01, and Sara Beddow '02 and research assistant Zachary Florin '99 on a variety of research projects involving photoreactive and photoluminescent metal complexes. On June 21, Cummings presented a paper at the Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society at Ohio State University. He also attended the International Conference on Photochemistry at Duke University (August 1-6) and presented a poster at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana (August 22-26). In addition, Cummings recently received one of the College's Teaching Initiatives Grant, entitled "Symbolic Mathematics for Teaching Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics," to develop exercises for Chemistry 35, "Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics." Anthony Watson spent the summer working with Summer Science Scholar Janice Pour '02 and his wife, Kate E. Doan, on a research project entitled "Diastereo-selectivity of Dihalocarbene Additions to Racemic 1-[1 Methyl-2-(trialkylsiloxy) ethyl] cyclohexenes." He presented the paper as a talk at the American Chemical Society's Central Regional Meeting on June 22 at Ohio State University.


Carolin Hahnemann spent June in Germany visiting friends and family and in St. Petersburg, Russia, attending the opera, and paying homage to Russian cultural figures. She purchased flowers from an elderly babushka to place on the tomb of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81) and visited the home of painter Ilya Repin (1844-1930). Hahnemann says her knowledge of Greek proved to be a valuable tool for deciphering the Cyrillic alphabet. She has also published an article, entitled "Mount Oeta Revisited: Sophokles' Trachiniai in Light of the Evidence of Aischylos's Herakleidai," in Zeitschrift Fuer Papyrologie und Epigraphik, volume 126 (1999), pages 67-73. In late May and early June, Cliff Weber attended the Schubertiade music festival in Lindau, a town in the south of Germany, and then crossed over to France for sightseeing and gastronomy in Strasbourg and the Alsatian countryside. From mid-June until mid-August, he stayed with friends in Boston, Massachusetts, and worked on his contribution to a volume honoring the director of his doctoral dissertation, William S. Anderson. While in Boston, Weber received a surprise visit from Michael O'Leary '93 and his wife, Una Moon. The three took a walking tour of the Back Bay area during the wee hours of one morning. Weber also visited Maine and attended the Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro, Vermont.

Dance and Drama

Wendy MacLeod is spending the fall semester in Los Angeles, California, serving as writer and producer for a new television series, Popular, appearing on the Warner Brothers network. MacLeod describes the series as an hour-long dark comedy about the different factions within a high school, built around the lives of two stepsisters. At the end of July, Harlene Marley participated in a four-day workshop for theater department chairs and fine-arts deans at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She gave a presentation on preparing for, and surviving, department reviews. In February, Marley will direct a Kenyon College Dance and Drama Club production of Shakespeare's Othello, featuring Assistant Professor of Drama Jonathan Tazewell '84 as Othello and Professor of Drama Thomas Turgeon as Iago. Linda Pisano, visiting assistant professor of theater during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 academic years, exhibited her costume designs for for the College's February 1999 production of Volpone at the Toronto conference of the U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology in March. This year, she will design two world premieres with the BalletMet Columbus (Ohio).


Erin Belieu is coediting the first comprehensive anthology of contemporary American women's poetry for the Columbia University Press. Tentatively entitled Pro Femina: A Celebration of New Work by Contemporary American Women Poets, the anthology will bring together more than one hundred women poets, both the well-established and the emerging. Belieu believes the anthology, which is scheduled to appear in September of 2000, represents a positive milestone in the publication of American women writers. Belieu's second collection of poems, entitled One Above and One Below, will be published in March 2000 by Copper Canyon Press. In April, James Kimbrell gave a reading at the Associated Writing Programs Conference in Albany, New York. The same month, his book The Gatehouse Heaven was selected as runner-up for the Norma Farber First Book Award, given by the Poetry Society of America. This was his second runner-up award for first book; the first came from the Great Lakes Colleges Association in June 1998. In May, Perry Lentz and his wife, Jane Lentz, were presented with Kenyon's Thomas B. and Mary M. Greenslade Award at the annual Alumni Awards Luncheon during Reunion Weekend. The award, which recognizes outstanding affection for and loyalty to the College, went to the Lentzes for their years of taking on "the hard and often thankless jobs" necessary to the life of the community.


Clifton Crais spent the summer working on his new book, Ritual, Representation, and Rebellion in Colonial Africa, which he reports is nearing completion. He also edited a collection of essays on state formation and political culture entitled Passes, Passports, and the Vampire State, and reviewed manuscripts for Routledge, The American History Review, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. In November, Crais traveled to the University of Western Australia in Perth to attend an international conference on African studies, entitled "New African Perspectives." There he delivered a paper, "Chiefship and the Death of Hope: History and Anthropology at the Edge of Empire," and participated in a roundtable on the historiography of Southern Africa. In January, Crais will present a paper entitled "The Other Conversion: Subaltern Nationalism as Religious Discourse" at a conference at Cambridge University in England.

Modern Languages

Jean Blacker has recently been appointed editor-in-chief of Ecomia: Bulletin of the International Courtly Literature Society (ICLS). Founded in 1973, the ICLS is a learned society dedicated to the study of literature of courts and court-oriented cultures, particularly, though not exclusively, of Western Europe. The society currently has approximately eight hundred individual members and member institutions in Australasia, Japan, North America, and Western Europe. Blacker has also joined the editorial board of Romance Quarterly, a journal featuring historical and interpretive articles on Brazilian, Catalan, French, Portuguese, and Spanish literature, published quarterly by Heldref Publications in cooperation with the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences. Jane Cowles attended two workshops, entitled "L'Acteur en scène," at the Ecole Florent in Paris during the first three weeks of July. Each workshop ran six hours per day and concluded with a formal presentation of a scene. Her attendance was partially supported by a Kenyon Teaching Initiatives Grant, related to a course she will offer next spring, French 37, "French Drama and Writing Workshop." This fall, Cowles gave two papers, the first entitled "Confidents, Accusateurs: Trahisons du miroir dans Ourika" at the Nineteenth-Century French Studies Colloquium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on October 21-23 and the second entitled "Le Pli dans la Vallee: The Erotic Fold in Balzac's Lys," at the American Conference on Romanticism in Bloomington, Indiana, in November. Also, her article entitled "The Economy of Maternal Loss in Rousseau's Confessions" was printed in the Summer 1999 issue of L'Esprit Createur. Linda Metzler spent mid-June to mid-July in Spain this summer. Maria Fontan, a 1944 novel by Azorin on which she gave a paper at the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature in October, led her on what she calls an enriching quest to learn about the work's origins. Metzler talked to people in the old part of Madrid to learn the whereabouts of a famous herb store, studied at the "wonderful" Casa-Museo de Azorin in Monovar (Alicante), and, with a "spirited and generous" taxi driver, explored Maqueda and Escalona (Toledo), the towns of Maria Fontan's ancestors. This year, Clara Roman-Odio is directing a research project entitled "Assessment Methods for Multimedia-Based Language Learning" in collaboration with Associate Professor of Mathematics Bradley Hartlaub and Susan Palmer of the Five Colleges of Ohio Consortium. The project, approved for funding by Middlebury College's Project 2001, will receive an endowment of $15,000 for research into innovative approaches to the assessment of the impact of multimedia technology in language acquisition. A portion of the funds will supplement Roman-Odio's sabbatical salary for the 1999-2000 academic year. Roman-Odio has also received two Kenyon Faculty Development Grants. One helped support her participation in a conference entitled "Latin American Literature and Cultures: Borders, Margins and Changes at the End of the Century," held at the University of Southern Colorado in March 1999; the other partially funded her participation in the CALICO 99 conference, entitled "Advancing Language Learning Technologies into the New Millennium," held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in June 1999.


Jane Ellsworth, adjunct instructor of clarinet, presented a paper at the conference of the International Clarinet Association, held from July 6-11 at Oostende, Belgium. The paper was entitled "Clarinet Music by English Composers, 1800-70: Reclaiming a Repertory." On August 4, Ellsworth performed the Mozart Clarinet Quintet at the Esterhazy Palace in Eisenstadt, Austria, as part of the Eisenstadter Sommerakademie's annual Classical Music Festival. To further evaluate the repertoires of five villages under Saxon rule in the second half of the sixteenth century, Dane Heuchemer spent July 7 through July 25 in Dresden, Germany, investigating the collection of sixteenth-century music prints owned by the Sachsische Landesbibliothek. He catalogued the manuscript collections during the summer of 1998 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Renaissance Music Archive. Kenyon Faculty Development Grants funded both summers' efforts. Heuchemer has been invited back to Dresden to expand the timeframe under investigation to include the seventeenth century and also to submit the expanded study to the Sachsiche Landesbibliothek for possible publication. In October, he presented a paper on another major area of his research, "Foreign Musicians in German Courts during the Second Half of the Sixteenth Century" at the annual meeting of the College Music Society in Denver, Colorado. Benjamin Locke and his wife, Kay Locke, spent three weeks in late June and early July touring with the Libertas Choir of South Africa to sites in Boston, Massachusetts, New York City, and Washington, D.C. The Lockes served as hosts and tour guides for the choir members, who had welcomed and supported them when they visited South Africa during the summer of 1998.


Juan De Pascuale assisted the Fellowship Office of the National Research Council by serving as a panelist for the evaluation of applications in the 1999 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral and Dissertation Fellowships for Minorities Program. Fellowships are awarded on the basis of the panelists' evaluations.


Thomas Greenslade attended his class's fortieth reunion at Amherst College this spring, where every member of his class received a copy of his college reminiscences. After doing some research at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa and climbing a mountain in the Adirondacks that he first tackled fifty years ago, he returned to Gambier to spend the month of July teaching "Physics 99: Physics Education," a course for high-school physics teachers supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Karina Leppik '98 was one of the nine participants. One of the emphases of the course was getting more technology into the high-school classroom, with apparatus supplied by the grant. In August, Greenslade began his sabbatical leave, during which he will be constructing a World Wide Web page describing his research with early physics teaching apparatus. In September, he visited Ireland, and in October, he served as the after-dinner speaker for the Ohio section of the American Physical Society in Dayton. (See his article on the Earl of Rosse's Leviathan telescope in this issue of the Bulletin.) In June, Paula Turner helped run a two-week astronomy program at the Mount Wilson Observatory outside Pasadena, California. Following that, she worked with Instructor Dudley Thomas and Affiliated Scholar Kathy Gillen to offer a workshop focusing on topics in science and mathematics to a group of twelve entering Kenyon students. The workshop was funded by the HHMI.

Political Science

Kirk Emmert presented a paper on Winston Churchill's book London to Ladysmith via Pretoria at the annual meeting of the International Churchill Society in Bath, England, July 23-25. Following the meeting, he walked the Devon coastpath from Plymouth to Dartmouth.


Jon Williams served as the action editor of the Summer 1999 issue, Volume 49.3, of the Psychological Record, entitled "Special Issue: Episodic rat odors from frustration, reward, illness, and stress." He also wrote an extensive review article within that issue. Entitled "Effects of Conspecific and Predator Odors on Defensive Behavior, Analgesia, and Spatial Working Memory," the article covers twenty years of his professional research with numerous student collaborators. As chair of the natural sciences division, Williams is working with a group of faculty members to define the criteria for scholarship in the sciences at Kenyon. He also continues to serve as chair of the neuroscience program, which now has ten senior majors.


Royal Rhodes traveled at various times to Boston, Massachusetts, New Haven, Connecticut, and New York City this summer. He visited New York for the publication of "The Bible" issue of Visionaire, a noted fashion and design publication. Rhodes served as editorial consultant for the issue, which includes art work by Nan Goldin, David LaChapelle, Karl Lagerfeld, Steven Meisel, Andres Serrano, Mario Testino, and others. While in New York, he attended a June 25 performance of Hamlet directed by Richard Schechner and featuring Lars Hanson '86 as the Player King, and he preached on "Wisdom and the Kingdom" at the Church of the Transfiguration on July 25. In Boston, he gathered more materials for his course on "Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem: Millennial Centers of Christianity," to be offered in the spring semester; in New Haven, he helped friends greet and host some atomic-bomb survivors from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the various cities he met with Kenyon alumni from classes ranging from 1969 to 1996. Robert Oden Jr. learned this spring that his volume The Bible Without Theology, originally published by Harper and Rowe in 1987 and out of print for about five years, ranked first in a survey, conducted by the University of Illinois Press, that asked participants to name the most important volumes on the Hebrew Bible and ancient Near Eastern religions that were no longer in print. Because Oden's volume ranked first, the University of Illinois Press will reprint it in January 2000.

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