News and Notes by Date
Luc Sante is a visiting professor of writing and photography at Bard, teaching in both the Art History and Written Arts programs since 1999. Sante was born in Belgium and emigrated to the United States as a child, living in New York City for many years and attending Columbia University.He is the author of Folk Photography (2009), Kill All Your Darlings: Pieces 1990–2005 (2007), Walker Evans (2001), The Factory of Facts (1998), Evidence (1992), and Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York (1991). Sante is the coeditor of O.K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors (1999) and the editor and translator of Novels in Three Lines, by Félix Fénéon (2007). Sante has written introductions to books by Georges Simenon, Emile Zola, A. J. Liebling, Paul Auster, Weegee, Stephen Crane, and Vik Muniz, among others. His essays appear in many publications, including the New York Review of Books and the New York Times Magazine. He is the recipient of the Whiting Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Grammy Award (for album notes).
Jonathan Brent is the Visiting Alger Hiss Professor of History and Literature at Bard College. He is also the director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City, Bard's partner in the Bard-YIVO Institute for East European Jewish History and Culture.Brent is the author of Inside the Stalin Archives: Discovering the New Russia (2008), Stalin's Last Crime (2003, named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Financial Times), and Isaac Babel (forthcoming). He is the editor of The Best of TriQuarterly (1982) and A John Cage Reader (1984). Brent has held editorial positions at Yale University Press, Northwestern University Press, FORMATIONS, and TriQuarterly. As executive editor at Yale in 1992, Brent founded the internationally acclaimed Annals of Communism series. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Scholar, New Criterion, New Republic, New York Times, Commentary, and many other newspapers and journals. He received the Whiting Foundation Fellowship in 1977. Brent earned his B.A. at Columbia University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and has been a member of Bard's faculty since 2004.
Bard was my dream school! It was a little daunting in the beginning—you need to put a lot of commitment into your work here. The great thing is that classes are small, so the professors are really accessible. I would talk to them about how I was doing. I also asked the older students if I had questions, and I had help from writing tutors. I found it pretty easy to get in the groove of what a professor expects.
I love how green the campus is. Especially coming from Texas, I'm not used to seeing this kind of greenery. I love the community garden. There's an effort on campus to be sustainable and grow one's own food. It's also just a beautiful place to sit and write. I like to go early in the morning when no one's up and just reflect. Blithewood lawn is just like a park. In the spring, all the kids come out with their picnic blankets. It’s amazing and it really makes me appreciate where I go to school—to just be around all these people and such a wonderfully beautiful place.
I decided first semester freshman year that I really wanted to do something with community engagement, so I started volunteering at the Astor Home for Children through TLS, just spending time with the kids one-on-one, doing art projects and being an older buddy. When it came time for me to start thinking about summer internships I decided to work with the Children's Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., and was able to do that with one of the Community Action Awards through the Center for Civic Engagement. I’ve naturally formed this interest in children's rights and education reform, which goes really well with my two majors. I became part of the NOLA project freshman year, too, and spent that January in New Orleans teaching at a school. Bard has a sustained interaction with the Broadmoor community there, which is meaningful for both the Bard students and the neighborhood. They have this great affection for Bard coming in and doing meaningful things in the community.
More recently, I interned with Human Rights Watch during a semester at the Bard Globalization and International Affairs Program in New York City. I'm spending this summer interning at a film production company called Downtown Community Television Center, also in New York. I also founded a TLS project called Conversations on Class and became a writing fellow with the Learning Commons last year.
I think college comes at a very interesting time in life and I'm fortunate that the college I chose to attend during those critical years when I'm becoming an adult is Bard. I know now that I can explore an interest and be supported in it, even if it’s unusual. I know that there will be professors and peers there to encourage me. Bard has changed me in the sense that I don't just have big dreams; I have big goals and I know that I'm going to be able to fulfill them.