Location: Bowdoin / Common Hour / Archives / Spring 2004

Common Hour

Spring 2004

Friday, January 30

Peter Coviello, Assistant Professor, Bowdoin English Department


Professor Peter Coviello, an Assistant Professor in Bowdoin's English Department, will present the Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture titled "Canker'd, Crude, Superstitious and Rotten'" Whitman's American and Our Own".

Peter Coviello earned his B.A. in English from Northwestern University and went on to Cornell University where he earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in English.

He has been at Bowdoin since 1998 where he has taught courses in nineteenth- and twentieth- century American literature, Africana Studies and Women's Studies. He is also the chair of the program in Gay and Lesbian Studies.

He is the author of "Intimacy in America: Dreams of Affiliation in Antebellum Literature", forthcoming from University of Minnesota Press, and the editor of a new edition of Walt Whitman's Civil War memoir "Memoranda During the War".

The Karofsky Family Fund was established by Paul I. '66, his son David M. '93, and his brother Peter '62 in memory of their father and David's grandfather, Sydney B. Karofsky. Each semester the Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture features a Bowdoin faculty member chosen by members of the senior class honoring him or her as a teacher and role model.

Location: Kresge Auditorium

Friday, February 6

Bruce McEwen, neuroscientist and neuroendocrinologist

"Stressed or Stressed Out What's the Difference?"

As a neuroscientist and neuroendocrinologist and as head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory at Rockefeller Dr. Bruce McEwen directs the work of some 30 researchers studying environmentally regulated variable gene expression in the human adult brain. Their areas of study include the actions of estrogens and progestins on memory processes and their alterations during aging and neurodegenerative diseases the effects of stress on the structure and function of the brain's hippocampus and, in conjunction with a MacArthur Foundation Project, the effects of socioeconomic status on health and aging.

McEwen graduated summa cum laude in chemistry from Oberlin College in 1959 and received his Ph.D. in cell biology in 1964 from the Rockefeller University. After postdoctoral studies in Sweden and a brief period on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, he returned to Rockefeller to work with psychologist Neal Miller. He was appointed a professor there in 1981 and served as dean of graduate studies from 1991 to 1993.

He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a member and former president of the Society for Neuroscience and heads the society's steering committee on Brain Awareness Week. Dr. McEwen has a strong interest in bringing the study of science to society at large and especially to children. He is co-author with science writer Elizabeth Lasley of a new book for lay audiences called The End of Stress As We Know It.

Location: Kresge Auditorium

Friday, February 13

Judy Fortin '83

"No Regrets, Making the Most of Life After Bowdoin."

Judy Fortin is a news anchor for CNN Headline News, based in CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta. Fortin co-anchors with Thomas Roberts, and among other stores, the two co-anchored the network's coverage of the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy in February 2003 as well as that from Operation Iraqi Freedom in the spring of 2003. She also helped anchor the network's coverage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

She began her career with CNN in 1990 as a national correspondent for CNN Newsourse, during which time she traveled the world for eight years doing live shots for affiliate stations. Fortin has covered presidential elections and inaugurations, the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial, the 50th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy in 1994 and the Pope's historic visit to Cuba in 1998. Additionally, she received an Emmy for her coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1994.

Before joining CNN, Fortin worked as a general assignment reporter for WCVB-TV, the CNN and ABC affiliate in Boston. She spent three years as a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter for WMUR-TV, the CNN and ABC affiliate in Manchester, N.H., earning several Associated Press awards for her work. Fortin also worked as News Director for WPNH-FM and AM in Plymouth, N.H.

Location: Kresge Auditorium

Friday, February 27

Patricia Williams, Professor of law at Columbia University

"The Eradication of Prejudice."

Patricia Williams is a professor of law at Columbia University School of Law. A graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Law School, she has served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin School of Law, Harvard University's Women's Studies Program, and the CUNY Law School at Queen's College. She has held fellowships at the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College, the Humanities Research Institute of the University of California at Irvine, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant.

Before entering academia, she practiced law, as a consumer advocate and deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles.

At present, she serves on the boards of the Center of Constitutional Rights, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Society of American Law teachers. She has written numerous articles for scholarly journals and popular magazines and newspapers including USA Today, Harvard Law Review, TIKKUN, the New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and he Village Voice; and written two books, The Alchemy of Race and Rights and Seeing a Color-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race.

Location: Pickard Theater, Memorial Hall

Friday, February 20

Liz Murray presents "Homeless to Harvard--A Remarkable Journey."


Liz Murray's book, "Breaking Night" tells the story of her journey from teenage homelessness to her graduation from Harvard. Now a student at Columbia University, she brings her inspiring story of overcoming great odds to groups across the nation.

As the child of cocaine-addicted parents in the Bronx, Murray led a bitterly grim life. Murray's childhood environment was devoid of all the comforts of home. Food was non-existent, living conditions were filthy, and drugs were everywhere. By the time she was 15, Murray had lost her mother and was living on the street, riding the subway all night, and eating from dumpsters.

Amidst this pain, she always imagined life could be better. "I started to grasp the value of lessons learned while living on the streets. I knew after overcoming those obstacles, that next to nothing could hold me down." Determined to take charge of her life, Murray finished high school in just two years, while camping out in New York City parks and subway stations.

Murray takes audiences on a very personal journey of triumph over adversity. In addition to her poignant memoir, Murray's life story was documented in the Lifetime movie, "Homeless to Harvard" starring Thora Birch.

Location: Morrell Lounge, David Saul Smith Union

Friday, March 5

Anna Levesque, world-class kayaker and a member of the famed Team Dagger

"Women in Whitewater Kayaking"

Anna Levesque is a world-class kayaker, a member of the famed Team Dagger, and a Nike ACG athlete whose personal drive has taken her from the reception desk of a Canadian rafting company into the rarified water of international competition, monumental first descents, and the chance to give something back to the sport of women's kayaking.

Levesque was a bronze medallist at the 2001 Freestyle Kayaking World Championships, and has been a member of the 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 Canadian National Freestyle teams. As a professional whitewater kayaker and international guide, she has worked and paddled in Canada, the U.S., Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Australia and Austria.

She grew up involved in sports, especially downhill skiing, and was a member of the University of North Carolina crew team. But, she fell in love with the sport of kayaking, which she says has given her a deep insight into the female mind and heart. She has produced an instructional kayak video for women, called "Girls At Play."

Levesque calls Ottawa home when she's not on the road, but spends nearly as much time in West Virginia and Virginia. She also serves as the vice president of the Canadian Kayaking Freestyle Committee, has taught Spanish for the Adventure Quest Academy, and donated time as a volunteer kayak instructor for Girls and Boys Harbour Kayak Camp for New York inner-city kids. She is also a freelance write for whitewater publications and websites.

Location: Kresge Auditorium

Friday, April 2

the four bags


"the four bags" is a New York City-based ensemble comprised of trombone, accordion, guitar, and woodwinds. Their music combines a vibrancy of modern jazz and popular music with the rigor and sophistication of a classical chamber music group.

Each member of the four bags also brings a distinctive compositional voice to the ensemble, creating a marvelously varied and extensive body of original work which transverses jazz, classical, and the less easily defined regions beyond. These aspects, combined with an occasional dose of humor, create performances that are rich in texture and highly entertaining.

Location: Gibson Music Hall 101

Friday, April 9

Bill Irwin presents, "Overcoming the Odds--But Now I See!"


Bill Irwin, with his Seeing Eye dog Orient, is the only blind person to have completed the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail. His historic hike began in Georgia and ended almost nine months later in north central Maine. This amazing odyssey was the single most publicized human endeavor that year, and an inspiring example of overcoming the odds for all. He continues to inspire millions of people each year as a much sought after motivational speaker. His unique message of perseverance and the will to survive tantalizes very diverse audiences throughout the world as he motivates his listeners to achieve their impossible dreams! His homespun, self-deprecating humor and life experience (over thirty years in corporate America, recovery from alcoholism, and the Appalachian Trail experiences and encounters as a family counselor) allow him to make life-changing observations.

Bill's book, "Blind Courage" is the account of his lifetime of overcoming the odds and his incredible journey.

Location: Kresge Auditorium

Friday, April 16

Common Hour Music Concert


Please join us this Friday, April 16, for a Common Hour Music Concert. The concert will feature student ensembles from the Department of Music.

Location: Gibson Music Hall 101

Friday, April 23

Robert D. Bullard: Author, Teacher, Activist, Lecturer

"Environmental Justice For All"

Dr. Robert Bullard is the Ware Professor of Sociology and Director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. Prior to joining the faculty at CAU in 1994, he served as a professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside, as well as visiting professor in the Center for Afro-American Studies at UCLA.. His scholarship has distinguished him as one of the leading experts on environmental justice. He is one of the planners of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. Dr. Bullard served on President Clinton's Transition Team in the Natural Resources and Environment Cluster (Department of Energy, Interior, Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency). He served on the U.S. EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where he chaired the Health and Research Subcommittee.

Professor Bullard is the nation's leading expert on race and the environment. He is the author of ten books that address environmental justice, environmental racism, urban land use, facility permitting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, suburban sprawl, and smart growth. His book, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality (Westview Press, 2000), is a standard text in the environmental justice field. His latest book is now out, entitled Just Sustainability: Development in and Unequal World. It was published by Earthscan/MIT Press, and co-edited with Julian Agyemen and Bob Evans.

Location: Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

Friday, April 30

Kristen Ghodsee, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Bowdoin College

"The Armageddon of Big Ideas: Historical Materialism, Post-Modernism and the Triumph of Dystopias"

Kristen Ghodsee earned her Ph.D. in Social and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and is an Assistant Professor in the Women's Studies Program at Bowdoin College. Her research focuses on women, economic development and transition, and the legacies of socialist feminism. Her articles have been published in journals such as Signs, Women's Studies Quarterly, The International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society and L'Homme: Zeitschrift für Feministische Geschichtswissenschaft. She is also the author of the book, Sun, Sand and Socialism: Gender, Tourism and Economic Transition in Southeastern Europe, forthcoming from Duke University Press

Location: Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center

Friday, May 7

Common Hour presents 22nd Museum Pieces


Please join us this Friday, May 7th, as Common Hour presents the 22nd Museum Pieces. The performance will take place on the steps of the Walker Art Museum and will feature student ensembles from the Department of Dance.

Location: Walker Art Museum