A Year’s Worth of Faculty Scholarship and Creativity on Display

September 30, 2015
Three faculty members converse at scholarship celebration

The College community was treated to a dazzling display of academic and artistic accomplishments at this year’s Celebration of Faculty Scholarship on September 21 in the Clapp Library Reading Room. Classical music recordings by various faculty members played in the background as attendees moved from table to table admiring articles, reviews, books, CDs, DVDs, artwork, and more.

“The celebration of faculty scholarship offers a wonderful opportunity for colleagues to come together for the purpose of recognizing the impressively rich contribution that the Wellesley faculty make each year to new knowledge in the various fields that we study,” said Kathryn Lynch, dean of faculty affairs and Katharine Lee Bates and Sophie Chantal Hart Professor of English. “It’s a particularly meaningful way to begin a new academic year.”

Members of the Wellesley community lingered over faculty members’ work and engaged in lively conversations about the vast array of subjects, from the costs of banking crises, to academic freedom as a basis for self-governance, to the queering of domesticity.

Scientific articles covered topics such as beach ridge patterns in West Aceh, Indonesia and their response to large earthquakes; resonances, chaos, and short-term interactions among the inner Uranian satellites; and saccharide breakdown and fermentation by the honey bee gut microbiome.

A number of papers reflected the ever-growing impact of the Internet on human behavior, such as “Messaging the Dead: Social Network Sites and Theologies of Afterlife,” “Four Ways to Click: Rewire Your Brain for Stronger, More Rewarding Relationships” and “Communication in the Wake of Snowden.”

Creative writing and literature included children’s books on Anne Frank, segregation, and immigration; a translation of Stella, Haiti’s first novel; and scholarship on history, gossip, and lore in narratives from Tang Dynasty China.

Attendees enjoyed an unexpected juxtaposition of subject matter as the work was arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. One table, for example, included “The Nordic Model and the Complex Topography of Paradise,” reflections on “Music and Musical composition at the American Academy in Rome,” and “How Policy Shapes Politics: Rights, Courts, Litigation and the Battle Over Injury Compensation.”

Every academic department was represented with engaging, thought-provoking entries. Together, the work of 131 faculty members demonstrated the importance of Wellesley scholarship both in the classroom and the world. “Witnessing the range and magnitude of our faculty’s research portfolios is humbling—and makes me proud to be a Wellesley faculty member,” said Lynch.  

Faculty members appreciated one another’s contributions, with many staying past the official end of the event to discuss one more review, translation, musical recording, textbook, original poem, or commentary. “I often share the booklet that lists all the scholarly contributions with the new faculty members we are recruiting, and it clearly makes them proud too when they join our community,” said Lynch.

To learn more about this year’s event, download the full catalog of work presented.