This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

A Sampling of February Speakers

Charles Simonds, sculptor, will talk about his work on February 4. Simonds’s sculptures are miniature architectural worlds and landscapes. Most are landforms with small chambers and towers; some are abstract organic shapes. Much of Simonds's career has been spent creating these sites, whether they are museum installations such as “Ritual Place,” or temporary public works, as in the small dwelling places Simonds has built on the streets of New York's Lower East Side, Venice, Berlin, Dublin, and Shanghai. Simonds has also created large public installations at various sites, including Lewiston's Artpark.

Imani Perry, professor at the Rutgers University School of Law, will deliver the Norman E. Hodges Endowed Biennial Lecture in Race and American Law on February 5. Perry’s talk is entitled “A New Day?: The Reality and Rhetoric of Race in the Obama Era.” Prior to joining the Rutgers faculty, she was a fellow and adjunct professor at Georgetown Law Center. She has also taught at Harvard College and Suffolk University in the History and African American Studies departments. At Rutgers, she teaches advanced constitutional law, law and literature, and critical race theory. Her scholarly work is in the areas of race, legal history, and culture. 

Yossi Chajes, professor at University of Haifa, Israel, is this year’s Dr. Maurice Sitomer annual lecturer. Chajes’s February 12 lecture, “Songs of the Lord in Strange Lands: Sacred Music and the Faces of Contemporary Jewish Spirituality,” will include musical illustrations, and he will be accompanied by his daughter, violinist Levana Chajes.

Augusten Burroughs, author, will give the Alex Krieger '95 Memorial Lecture on February 17. Burroughs’s best-selling memoir Running with Scissors spent more than four years on The New York Times bestseller list, and spawned an Oscar-nominated film. Burroughs has also published three other memoirs, and two collections of essays. His books have been published in over 25 countries, and his writing has appeared in magazines, literary journals, and newspapers around the world.

Frances Sternhagen '51, actress (pictured) is the 2009 recipient of the AAVC Award for Distinguished Achievement. Sternhagen will be performing selections from the Marta Góes play A Safe Harbor for Elizabeth Bishop ['34] on February 26 in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Powerhouse Theater. Sternhagen has won two Tony Awards, been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, and is familiar to millions of television viewers through her performances in television shows such as CheersER, and Sex in the City. The AAVC Award for Distinguished Achievement is presented annually to an alumna or alumnus who has reached the highest level in her or his field.

February 2009

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