News and Notes by Date
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Conjunctions:61, A Menagerie—the latest issue of the innovative literary magazine published by Bard College—gathers writings from many of today’s leading contemporary writers about the vast world of our fellow beasts who occupy the earth, oceans, and sky. A collection of fiction, essays, poems, memoirs, and dialogues, A Menagerie is coedited by Conjunctions editor, novelist, and Bard literature professor Bradford Morrow, and novelist and 2012 Bard Fiction Prize winner Benjamin Hale. The issue features a previously unpublished conversation about animals between Bradford Morrow and Beat icon William S. Burroughs from 1987.
Bard College announces the appointment of Neil Gaiman as Professor in the Arts. Gaiman, who joins the College in the spring semester of 2014 as a member of the Theater and Performance faculty, will teach courses across the Division of the Arts and the Division of Languages and Literature. His first course will be an advanced writing workshop exploring the history of the fantastic, approaches to fantasy fiction, and the meaning of fantasy today, taught through the Written Arts Program and the Experimental Humanities concentration.
Professor in the Arts Neil Gaiman discusses how he began to teach writing at Bard in the spring of 2013.
On Thursday, November 14, Tavia Nyong’o—associate professor of performance studies at New York University and Errol Hill Award winner for best book in African American theatre and performance studies—will speak at Bard College. Nyong’o’s talk, “Epistemology of the Lifeboat: Life of Pi and Queer Fabulation,” is being presented by Bard’s Environmental and Urban Studies Program, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Language and Literature Division, with funding from a Bard College, Mellon-supported course development award. The talk takes place at 4:30 p.m. in the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation Room 103 and is free and open to the public.
Author Bennett Sims has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2014. The prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at the College for one semester. Sims is receiving the prize for his debut novel, A Questionable Shape. In this penetrating novel set in Baton Rouge, Sims writes about a son looking for his undead father and transcends traditional zombie narrative to deliver a wise and philosophical rumination on the nature of memory and loss.
Bill Emmott, former Editor-in-Chief of The Economist, will present and discuss his new documentary film Girlfriend in a Coma on Thursday, October 17, at 6 pm in the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Theater, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center at Bard College. Called “beautiful and cruel” by Le Monde, Girlfriend in a Coma—cowritten by Emmott with Annalisa Piras, the film’s director—deals with the current political and economic crisis in Italy.
Bard College has received a grant of $14,000 to host The Big Read in Germantown, Kingston, Red Hook, Rhinecliff, and Tivoli. The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) managed by Arts Midwest, is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The local Big Read will focus on Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, and activities will take place from March 15 to May 2, 2014.
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