This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Education policy analyst Jonathan Kozol.

On Campus

With the students back from fall break in late October, November is shaping up to be an especially busy month on Vassar’s campus. Don’t miss the following events:

Thursday, November 3

With the 10th anniversary of No Child Left Behind fast approaching, the college welcomes teacher, author and noted education policy analyst Jonathan Kozol to campus for a lecture, “Education Under Siege: Race, Poverty, and the Mania of Testing in our Public Schools." For more information, contact Elizabeth Dunn (, 845.437.5550).

Thursday, November 3 – Saturday, November 5

Inspired by the college’s Sesquicentennial, “Smashing History: 150 Years of LGBTIQA Vassar” is a three-day event that commemorates Vassar’s unique lesbian, queer and gender nonconforming histories. More than 25 alumnae/i will participate as speakers and panelists, including activist Urvashi Vaid ’79, who will deliver the keynote, and author Anne MacKay ’49. Full speaker bios, descriptions of plenary sessions, a schedule of events, and more are available on the Smashing History website.

Tuesday, November 8

With continued drug cartel-related violence and tensions over managing the U.S.-Mexico border never far from the news, Vassar welcomes Macrina Cárdenas de Alarcón to campus. The community activist from Tijuana will talk about narcoviolence in border towns. Her stop at Vassar is part of a broader speaking tour, “On the Edge of Reason: Border Dynamics and the Spread of Violence,” supported by the Chicago-based Mexico Solidarity Network. For more information, contact Darcy Gordineer (, 845.437.7204).

Wednesday, November 9

Ana Aizcorbe, chief economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington, DC, will give a lecture, "Challenges in Identifying the Causes of Rapidly Rising Health Care Spending.” For more information, contact Robert Rebelein (, 845.437.7395).

Thursday, November 10

From director Shan Nicholson (Downtown Calling) comes a new documentary about the prominence of New York City gangs during the late 1960s and early 1970s: Rubble Kings. Following a screening of the film, a panel discussion will include both members of the filmmaking team and some of the film’s subjects. For more information, contact Shoshana Pierce-Wright (

Monday, November 14

New Mexico native Jimmy Santiago Baca will read some of his work as the 2011 Elizabeth Bishop Poetry Series Poet. The award-winning writer was a boyhood runaway who spent time in prison before discovering “a voracious passion for poetry,” he notes. For more information, contact Alison Mateer (, 845.437.5650).

Wednesday, November 16

Over the Rainbow: Sexuality, Race, and U.S. Urban Politics Since the 1960s” will examine gay and lesbian empowerment in the context of urban politics, specifically addressing how “gayness” became linked to “whiteness,” thus further marginalizing African American gays and lesbians in Chicago. For more information, contact Steve Lavoie (, 845.437.3531).

Apropos in light of the recent Occupy Wall Street protests, SUNY Stony Brook’s professor Michael Zweig will give a lecture, “The Working Class Majority: America's Best Kept Secret.” He will cover definitions of “the working class” in the U.S. and the power and influence of socioeconomic class in contemporary society. For more information contact John Joyce (, 412.779.2096).

Thursday, November 17 – Saturday, November 19

The Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre—celebrating its 30th anniversary season—will present “Final Showings,” a preview of its new repertoire, including several pieces commissioned to celebrate Vassar’s Sesquicentennial. Seating will be on a first come first served basis. For more information, contact John Meehan (, 845.437.7470).

Compiled by Peter Bronski

November 2011

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