ISSUE DATE: April 10, 2000
Jewish American literature
Derek Rubin is a Fulbright scholar from the Netherlands teaching an upper-level course, "Jewish American Literature," at SUNY New Paltz this semester. He said, "For me it's new teaching a group for whom the American experience is familiar. Its theirs. [In the literature we study], the world that is being fictionalized is one that is more personal to them than to Dutch students, and I find that interesting."
Rubin was born in South Africa and reared in Israel. He has lived for more than 20 years in Amsterdam, where he received his university education, including a doctorate at the Free University of Amsterdam with a dissertation on the experience of marginality in Saul Bellow's early novels. He has taught American literature at the University of Amsterdam, Free University of Amsterdam and Nijmegen University. He currently lectures in the American Studies Program at Utrecht University.
Rubin's articles on Jewish American fiction include " The Hunger Must Be Preserved at All Cost': Paul Auster and the Future of Jewish American Literature"; "Saul Bellow: From Jew to Non-Jew, from Private Concerns to Public Issues"; and "Philip Roth and Nathan Zuckerman: Offenses of the Imagination."
While in the United States, Rubin has been speaking on numerous campuses, next of which will be the University of California, Riverside. He is also engaged in a study of contemporary fiction by third- and fourth- generation Jewish American writers like Myra Goldberg, Johanna Kaplan and Thane Rosenbaum, several of whom were speakers last fall in the annual lecture series of the Louis and Mildred Resnick Institute for the Study of Modern Jewish Life. His public lecture at New Paltz last week, "A Second Renaissance? Jewish American Fiction at the End of the Century," was attended by more than 40 guests.
Rubin said he has learned much through the exchange of ideas with colleagues like Gerald Sorin (History). He is thankful for the opportunity to experience university life in the United States knowledge that will enable him to advise his Dutch students planning to study in this country. Rubin's affection for New Paltz echoes that of many in our community. He said, "There's a feeling I get when coming back after lecturing or visiting New York City for interviews, a feeling of serenity the view of the mountains, the campus itself..."
Rubin's visit ensued as a result of a relationship established when Sorin was a Fulbright scholar holding the John Adams Distinguished Chair in American History at Nijmegen University in the spring of 1998.
To your health
A massage in the middle of the workday? Who needs it? The Workplace With Heart Committee encourages faculty and staff to stop by a "Wellness Day Fair" to be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the MultiPurpose Room this Wednesday. Have some fun while becoming informed about regional services and organizations which promote wellness. In addition to eight-minute massages, New Paltz employees can try yoga (12:15 - 12:45 p.m.) and acupuncture, sample heart-healthy foods, and pick up vendors' free literature and other gadgets. Everyone who stops in will be entered to win raffle prizes including fruit baskets, magazine subscriptions, and gift certificates from Robin's Warehouse Outlet, My Market, Hoffman's Deli, Main Course, Ariel Booksellers, Dedrick's Pharmacy, Earthgoods Natural Foods, P&G's Restaurant, Gadaleto's Seafood Market, and other establishments.
... Jaap Jacobs of the New Netherlands Center of the Amsterdam City Archives will speak of "Peter Stuyvesant and his World" on Wednesday, April 12 at 2 p.m. in the Honors Center.
... According to Patrick Ryan (Sponsored Funds), SUNY, through the State University Faculty Senate's University Programs and Awards Committee, invites proposals to support intercampus faculty conferences within and across academic disciplines. Guidelines for submitting proposals, which are due by Monday, April 17, are available online at www.sysadm.suny.edu/Provost/initiatives/conver.htm. Those wishing to make a proposal must contact Ryan at x3282 or firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain prior institutional approval and application assistance.
Awards, Honors, and Recognition
Mary Kahl (Communication & Media) recently concluded a term as chair of the Public Address Division of the National Communication Association a professional alliance of communication scholars. She currently serves on the NCA's Legislative Council. Her paper, "Doing the People's Business in the Wake of Impeachment: The Rhetorical and Political Impact of President Clinton's 1999 State of the Union Address," presented in November at the 85th annual NCA meeting, was subsequently revised and published in The Communication Annual.
Howard Good (Communication & Media) published a poem, "Psalm," in the December 1999 issue of Midstream.
Nancy Johnson (English) presented a paper titled "Acorns & Honesty: Mandeville, Defoe, and the Balancing of Accounts" at the annual conference of the Northeast American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, held in December at the University of New Hampshire, Durham.
Artists' pages conceived and designed by Ann Lovett (Art) appeared in the fall 1999 edition of Photography Quarterly, published by The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Also, Lovett's photographs were included in an exhibition, "Shelf-Life: Contemporary Still Life Photography," which was shown at the University of Texas at Dallas for three weeks this winter.
Students & Alumni in the news
Desiree Grand (Senior/Journalism), currently in Albany completing her Journalism Program internship with the Legislative Gazette, was a finalist in the Los Angeles Times' prestigious METPRO Program for Minority Journalists an extremely competitive project and "a great step upward" even for experienced journalists, according to Jessica Siegel (Communication & Media). Grand applied at Siegel's recommendation, and was invited to Los Angeles in late March to complete an interview for possible entrance into the two-year program. Though she was not among those selected for inclusion (only 10 in the country), "It's an extremely competitive program and the fact that as a senior at New Paltz she was a finalist, is amazing," said Siegel. METPRO/Reporting participants are journalists of color who work for Times Mirror, first at the Los Angeles Times, then at any of seven Times Mirror papers in the country. Grand said, "Many of the other finalists were from Ivy League universities, had completed graduate school, or had already been working in the field, so coming from SUNY with just the Legislative Gazette under my belt, I understood the significance of being a finalist." Grand said her plan after graduating in May is to work at a daily newspaper because she likes the pace of daily writing. She may even reapply for the METPRO Program in the future. "I'm keeping my options open," she said.
Twenty-seven students, many from the Political Science Club, and Nancy Kassop (Political Science) recently travelled to the nation's capital an annual spring excursion for the past 13 years, said Kassop. This year she and an alumnus with whom she has remained in contact organized a reception for the students and several members of the SUNY New Paltz Alumni Chapter of Metro D.C. In attendance were: Patrick Coleman (BA/International Relations, 1990), international economist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Foreign Agricultural Service; Cynthia Farrell Johnson (BS/Art History, 1976), employee of the U.S. Department of State; Peter Kaplan (BA/Political Science, 1993), lobbyist for the American Library Association; and Robert Chiappetta (BA/International Relations, 1991), lobbyist for Toyota Motor Sales USA. According to Paul Clifford, director of alumni affairs, "It was an exciting event, very successful, and the type of gathering Alumni Affairs is looking to do more of in the future." Another New Paltz graduate, Brian Walsh (BA/Sociology, 1999), met the group at the office of the House International Relations Committee, where he serves as legislative assistant to Congressman Ben Gilman. The two-day trip also included visits to Foreign Policy Magazine; the U.S. Supreme Court; Amnesty International; and the offices of Bill Marshall, deputy White House counsel to the president; and Sam Smith, an independent journalist. Kassop said, "One of the biggest things that comes out of these trips is students have their eyes opened to possible government careers and internships."
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