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Academic Life
Bowdoin Opens Academic Year with 214th Convocation

The College’s annual Convocation ceremony, marking the official opening of its 214th year, was held Wednesday, Sept. 2, in Pickard Theater of Memorial Hall.

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Student Life
Service and Adventure at the Coastal Studies Center

This year, the Outing Club and McKeen Center organized 30 orientation trips for approximately 500 incoming first years. Reporter Talia Cowen '16 shadowed one of the hybrid service and adventure trips at the Coastal Studies Center to to see what the trips, and the Class of 2019, are all about.

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Featured video

  • Convocation 2015: President Clayton Rose...

    Convocation 2015: President Clayton Rose's "Opening of the College" Address
  • 214th Convocation at Bowdoin College

    214th Convocation at Bowdoin College
  • President and Deans Welcome Incoming Stu...

    President and Deans Welcome Incoming Students to Bowdoin
  • President and Deans Welcome Incoming Stu...

    President and Deans Welcome Incoming Students to Bowdoin
  • Move-In Day Impressions from the Class o...

    Move-In Day Impressions from the Class of 2019
  • Saiber Welcomes Parents of the Class of ...

    Saiber Welcomes Parents of the Class of 2019
  • President Rose Welcomes Parents of the C...

    President Rose Welcomes Parents of the Class of 2019

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Featured Events

Ed Laine, Community Lecture Series: "The Impact of Hurricanes in New England"

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September 3, 201512:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

The frequency of intense hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean appears to be closely connected to long-term trends in the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the West African monsoon, according to new research from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. In this talk from the Bowdoin Friends 2014-2015 "Nature's Cataclysms" mini course, Ed Laine will discuss hurricanes as they impact New England.

Laine is professor of earth and oceanographic science emeritus. He has become a leader in New England for using service learning as a powerful teaching tool, and began a long-term partnership with Friends of Casco Bay to consistently use students to conduct local water quality tests and ecological assessments. Laine has also worked with such community partners as the Lobster Conservancy, Return to the Tides, and the Town of Brunswick's Natural Resource Planning Department. He has taken his commitment to service learning and civic engagement to the regional level by serving as a co-facilitator of two Problem Based Service Learning institutes and traveling around New England providing faculty consultation.

Community Lectures take place from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Arrive at noon with your bag lunch. Beverages and cookies provided.
Sponsored by the Association of Bowdoin Friends.

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Conversation with Painter Lois Dodd: "Painting the Night"

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September 3, 20154:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Lois Dodd is one of the most distinguished painters of her generation and a long-time summer resident of Maine. In conversation with curator Joachim Homann she addresses the challenges of painting the night and comments on selected works in Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960.

Free and open to the public.

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Grant Parker: "The Struggle with Greek and Latin in South Africa"

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September 9, 20157:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Within South African society, ancient Greece and Rome have usually been associated with the establishment. For example, the legal system has had strong links with Roman law, and classical columns adorn colonial-era state buildings throughout the country. On the other hand, a very different kind of classical antiquity is visible in the creative arts, and here we find a much broader range of the classical tradition. Sophocles' Antigone was famously performed by Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island. In this talk, Professor Grant Parker concentrates on lesser known moments from the apartheid era (1948-91), when ancient Greece and Rome intersected unexpectedly with the Struggle for democracy. 

As associate professor of Classics at Stanford University, Parker has a renowned reputation for his scholarship on monumentalization in the classical world, and for more recent work on the relevance of classics to the struggle against apartheid and the post-apartheid monumentalization of Mandela. 

Sponsored by the Lectures and Concerts Committee and the Departments of History, Classics and Africana Studies.

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Elizabeth Siegel: "Making Photography New: Abelardo Morell and Current Trends in Photography"

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September 10, 20154:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Elizabeth Siegel curated the exhibition "Abelardo Morell: The Universe Next Door" at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is Associate Curator of Photography. She speaks about Morell's work and its relationship to larger trends in the world of contemporary photography.


Sponsored by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Maine Photo Project and presented in conjunction with the exhibition "The Mind of Winter: Photographs by Abelardo Morell" on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP here or send a message to artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.


Photo:  "Winter Landscape" (detail), 2015 by Abelardo Morell

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Alexander Nemerov: "Winslow Homer's Dream"

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September 14, 20154:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Alexander Nemerov, Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University, looks closely at Winslow Homer's print Fire-works on the Night of the Fourth of July, on view in the exhibition Night Vision, which in his interpretation becomes a meditation on the roles of art and artists in post-Civil War America.

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP here or send a
message to artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu.

Photo: Fire-works on the Night of the Fourth of July, (detail), 1868, wood engraving by Winslow Homer. Bowdoin College
Museum of Art.



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Art Historian Linda Docherty, Gallery Conversation: "Night Vision" Paintings and Prints

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September 15, 201512:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Linda Docherty, associate professor emerita of art history at Bowdoin College, discusses paintings and prints in the exhibition Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art. She examines works by artists Winslow Homer, Charles Burchfield, and Marguerite Zorach, who cherished the moon as an impetus to creativity.

Photo: 

"Mirage - Ships at Night," (detail), 1919, oil on canvas by William Zorach. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift from the collection of the Zorach children. Image: Art Resource, NY

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Senator George Mitchell: Celebrating 50 years of Upward Bound Bowdoin College

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September 16, 20157:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Memorial Hall, Pickard Theater

Senator Mitchell '54 has long been committed to college access for all students, and has always kept a particular focus on his home state of Maine, even while serving in national and international roles. While serving in the US Senate, Mitchell was a champion of Upward Bound/TRIO, ensuring that annual appropriations and federal support remained robust. His own Portland-based Mitchell Institute continues to support hundreds of underrepresented Maine students each year.

The national Upward Bound/TRIO program was created by President Johnson in 1965 to address barriers to higher education that confront low-income students as part of the War on Poverty. In 1966 Bowdoin created the first Upward Bound program in Maine, putting the College among the lead institutions to sign on to this national effort. More than 2,000 students from some of the state's most impoverished communities have been served by Bowdoin College's Upward Bound program since its inception. Nearly all are the first in their family to attend college.

Senator George Mitchell will keynote this special evening to commemorate fifty years of Upward Bound at Bowdoin College and to celebrate the important and highly successful work Upward Bound continues to do here in Maine. 

Free and open to the public. Tickets are required and will be available to Bowdoin ID holders at the Smith Union Information Desk beginning on September 3. Tickets for the general public will be available at the Smith Union Information Desk on September 9.  

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Eleanor Harvey Lecture: "Darkness Visible"

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September 17, 20154:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Lecturer Eleanor Harvey curated the exhibition The Civil War and American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where she is senior curator. Drawing from that project, she speaks about the interest in darkness by American artists.

Presentedin conjunction with the exhibition Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960

RSVPs are requested but not required. You may RSVP here or send a message to artmuseumevents@bowdoin.edu. 

Photo: A Waterfall Moonlight, ca. 1886, (detail) oil on canvas,by Ralph Albert Blakelock. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Bequest of Eda K. Loeb. 

Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Common Hour with Aviva Briefel: "Parenting through Horror: Reassurance in Jennifer Kent's 'The Babadook'"

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September 18, 201512:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Parenting through Horror: Reassurance in Jennifer Kent's The Babadook

Aviva Briefel is professor of English and cinema studies. She is the author of The Deceivers: Art Forgery and Identity in the Nineteenth Century (Cornell University Press, 2006) and coeditor of Horror after 9/11: World of Fear, Cinema of Terror (University of Texas Press, 2011). Her most recent book, The Racial Hand in the Victorian Imagination, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. At Bowdoin, she teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture, the horror film, and film adaptation.

This event will be streamed live at bowdoin.edu/live.

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Anna O. Marley Gallery Talk: "Debating African-American Art: A Curatorial Perspective"

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September 18, 20152:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Museum of Art, Halford Gallery

Anna O. Marley is the curator of historical American art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. She is a scholar of American art and material culture from the colonial era to 1945 and has curated numerous exhibitions including the touring retrospective Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit (2012). She is currently working on future exhibits on Thomas Eakins' photography and 19th-century history painting in the Americas. Her talk "Debating African-American Art: A Curatorial Perspective" will address the challenges in curating African-American art.

Sponsored by the Art History and Africana Studies departments and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

Image:Nicodemus, 1899, oil on canvas, by Henry Ossawa Tanner. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts,Philadelphia. Joseph E. Temple Fund (1900.1).

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Cold War in A Cold Climate: Exhibit and Reception in Honor of Harold Grundy

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September 19, 201511:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Lobby 1st floor

Cold War in a Cold Climate: Greenland's Ballistic Missile Early Warning System

Harold Grundy of Bath, Maine, spent the early 1960s working for RCA in Northwest Greenland. He supervised the construction and maintenance of the massive radar installations at Thule, Greenland, location of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. This reception is in honor of Mr. Grundy, who recently donated photographs documenting that work to Bowdoin College.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center.

Photo caption: Radome at J-Site, part of the Ballistic Missile Early-Warning System at Thule, Greenland, ca. 1962. Gift of Harold Grundy.

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Bowdoin Friends Fall Coffee and "Night Vision" Exhibition at the Museum of Art

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September 24, 201510:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Museum of Art, Pavilion

Hear about upcoming events and lectures over coffee and learn about and view the exhibition, Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960. The talk will begin in the pavilion with coffee and a discussion of the art, music, theater, and other cultural happenings planned on campus for the fall and winter. Seating will then be made available in one of the galleries for an exhibition discussion, followed by an optional tour.

Space is limited.Kindly RSVP by calling 725-3253 by September 17.

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An Evening with Filmmaker Michel Auder

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September 24, 20154:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

French filmmaker and photographer Michel Auder, who has been based in New York since 1970, introduces a selection of his films in conversation with Museum Curator Joachim Homann. 

Untitled (I Was Looking Back To See If You Were Looking Back At Me To See Me Looking Back At You) is currently on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and presents a contemporary counterpoint to Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960.

Free and open to the public.

Photo:  Michel Auder





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Russell Potter: "Finding Sir John Franklin: Inuit Oral Traditions and Modern Technology"

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September 29, 20157:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Moulton Union, Main Lounge

Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845. A Royal Navy officer and experienced explorer, Franklin had served on three previous Arctic expeditions, the latter two as commanding officer. His fourth and final was meant to traverse the last un-navigated section of the Northwest Passage. After a few early fatalities, the two ships became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in the Canadian Arctic. The entire expedition, 129 men including Franklin, was lost.

Russell A. Potter is Professor of English and Media Studies at Rhode Island College and an expert on the 1845-1848 British Arctic Expedition, popularly known as the Franklin Expedition. He has served as the content expert for the CBC film Franklin's Lost Ships, due to be released this fall. In this illustrated talk he will discuss the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus - one of those lost ships - the roles of traditional Inuit knowledge and western technologies in the discovery of the vessel, and the implications of its discovery for Canadian claims regarding the Northwest Passage. 

Sponsored by The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center.
Photo: Russell A. Potter 

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"Darwin's 'Abominable Mystery' and the Search for the First Flowering Plants"

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October 8, 20154:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Druckenmiller Hall, Room 020

Ned Friedman, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

In this presentation, Ned Friedman will discuss his current research program, which focuses on the organismic interfaces between developmental, phylogenetic and evolutionary biology. Remarkable recent advances in the study of the phylogenetic relationships of organisms have provided the raw materials for critical studies of character evolution in plants, animals, fungi, and all other forms of life. Armed with hypotheses of relationships among organisms, his work seeks to explore how patterns of morphology, anatomy and cell biology have evolved through the modification of developmental processes. 

With each study, Friedman's goal is to examine the origin and subsequent radiation of a major group of photosynthetic organisms and reconstruct the evolutionary events that led to the establishment of defining structural and developmental features of the lineage. Along with the origins of vascular plants and seed plants, the origin of flowering plants represents one of the three most significant evolutionary radiations of land plants during the last 475 million years. With over 250,000 extant species, angiosperms are the largest and most diverse group of plants ever to have evolved. 
Paradoxically, we know less about the early evolutionary history of angiosperms than we do about many considerably older groups of land plants. Indeed, Darwin's "abominable mystery" continues to challenge evolutionary biologists.

Friedman is the Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Director of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.

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Book Release Celebration with Brock Clarke: 'The Happiest People in the World'

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October 19, 20154:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Bowdoin Professor of English Brock Clarke will read from his newly-released sixth novel, The Happiest People in the World.

In addition to his latest novel, Clarke is the author of the novels Exley (which was a Kirkus Book of the Year, a finalist for the Maine Book Award, and a longlist finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award) and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England (which was a national bestseller, an American Library Associate Notable Book of the Year, a #1 Book Sense Pick, a Borders Original Voices in Fiction selection, and a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice pick).

His books have been reprinted in a dozen international editions, and have been awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for Fiction, the Prairie Schooner Book Series Prize, a National Endowment for Arts Fellowship, and an Ohio Council for the Arts Fellowship, among others.

Clarke's individual stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Boston Globe, Virginia Quarterly Review, One Story, The Believer, Georgia Review, New England Review, and Southern Review and have appeared in the annual Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South anthologies and on NPR's Selected Shorts.

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