Albertus Humanities Students Shine at Wesleyan Symposium

On November 12, 2022, six students from Albertus Magnus College delivered presentations at a special Undergraduate Symposium in the Arts and Humanities, hosted at Wesleyan University with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The event was organized by Connecticut College, Trinity College, and Wesleyan University. It had been rescheduled twice due to the pandemic, but finally this year was able to proceed. Prof. Jon Sozek and seven guests accompanied our six student presenters at this event.

Albertus students Nathaly Duchimaza (2023), Maia Fialco (2023), Eliza Gardner (2025), Isaiah LaGrand (2023), Charisma Prince (2024), and Bliss Weston (2024) all presented original work. Nathaly Duchimaza spoke about the representation of lesbian characters in film; Maia Fialco and Eliza Gardner read original works of poetry, accompanied by commentaries on the works and some remarks on their writing process; Isaiah LaGrand spoke on three paintings of trout by the French artist Gustave Courbet, showing how Courbet intervened in and disrupted the tradition of representation of that beautiful fish; Charisma Prince explored the history and current uses of a vegetable – the eggplant – using it as a case study to expose the dynamics of globalization in the colonial and post-colonial periods; Bliss Weston examined four depictions of Christ across the history of Christian art, showing how the style of those depictions shifted over time in a way that reflects changes in Christian thought.

After the concurrent sessions in the morning at Fisk Hall, the whole contingent from Albertus enjoyed lunch at Wesleyan’s Usdan Student Center, where we took some delightful photos. This was followed by a keynote talk at Memorial Chapel by Prof. David Dorfman (Professor of Dance at Connecticut College and Artistic Director of David Dorfman Dance). The engaging talk, presented under the title “Performing Life,” featured a performance of four dances by Dorfman and his wife, the choreographer Lisa Race, along with extensive interactions between Dorfman, Race, and the audience. Following the talk, we attended four further dance performances by students from Wesleyan, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and elsewhere, held at Wesleyan’s Bessie Schoenberg Studio.

Thanks to faculty mentors Dr. Susan Cole, Dr. Jen Dealy, Dr. Ross Edwards, and Dr. Jon Sozek for supporting the work of our six student presenters. The students’ excellent presentations were a strong showing for the Albertus Magnus College at this event. Thanks and congratulations, all!

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