Lucy Sante—writer, critic, and Bard faculty member—pens an intimate personal essay for Vanity Fair tracing her journey as a trans woman, from the carefully repressed feelings of her adolescence to finally coming out last year. “Now I am aware that I live, as we all do, in a cloud of unknowing, where certainties break down and categories become liquid,” she writes. “None of us really knows anything except provisionally. Now, as Lou Reed put it, ‘I’m set free/ to find a new illusion.’” Lucy Sante is visiting professor of writing and photography at Bard College. She has been a member of the faculty since 1999.
Photo: Lucy Sante, visiting professor of writing and photography. Photo by AnnAnn Puttithanasorn ’24
Meta: Type(s): Faculty | Subject(s): Written Arts Program,Photography Program,Division of the Arts,Division of Languages and Literature,Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
Photojournalist, documentarian, and activist Steve Schapiro ’55, who died on January 15, 2022, leaves behind a body of work that began with his capturing of the civil rights movement and continued through the current political era. “Over a six-decade career, Mr. Schapiro trained his camera’s eye on an astonishing array of people across the American landscape as he sought to capture the emotional heart of his subjects,” writes Katharine Q. Seelye in a remembrance of Schapiro for the New York Times. His work, which has been featured in magazines and museums alike, focused on a diversity of subjects, from movie stars to migrant workers. His photographs of James Baldwin’s 1963 tour of the South illustrated later editions of The Fire Next Time. After his death was announced, tributes to Shapiro poured out online, including remembrances from Barbra Streisand and Ava DuVernay. He graduated from Bard in 1955 with a degree in literature. He was a transfer student to Bard, which he found “more suitable for free spirits like himself.”
Photo: Steve Schapiro ’55.
Meta: Type(s): Alumni | Subject(s): Literature Program,Division of Languages and Literature,Alumni/ae | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
“With every hour spent alone, with every sentence that you draft, you win back a piece of your life,” writes Elias Canetti in The Book Against Death. Visiting Professor of Literature Peter Filkins has translated from the German a selection of Canetti’s short writings—spanning nearly 60 years—about the nature of death. “Canetti’s notes are neither morose nor gloomy,” Filkins observes. “Sardonic, mercurial, aghast, enigmatic, passionate—they are fueled by the fire of a man writing for life against death, in a century and locale suffused with the latter.”
Photo: Elias Canetti. Courtesy Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989
Meta: Type(s): Faculty | Subject(s): Literature Program,Division of Languages and Literature | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |
Dante’s biographers have their work cut out for them, writes Joseph Luzzi, professor of comparative literature, for the New York Times. Reviewing Dante: A Life, a new biography of Dante by historian and novelist Alessandro Barbero, Luzzi comments on the competing approaches to writing about the life of the mysterious poet. “The biographer must ultimately choose: Either hew to the evidence and ferret out whatever rare nugget about Dante’s life remains uncovered, or surrender to the genius of the work he called his ‘Comedìa’ and try to broker a fragile peace between literary interpretation and life writing,” Luzzi writes. Instead, Barbero takes a dual approach, which, Luzzi argues, works both in his favor and against him.
Photo: Professor Joseph Luzzi. Photo by Chris Kayden
Meta: Type(s): Faculty,Article | Subject(s): Literature Program,Division of Languages and Literature,Book Reviews | Institutes(s): Bard Undergraduate Programs |