Chris Duffy is an NYC-based comedian who performs across the country. His shows have been featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and The Onion A.V. Club. Chris is the creator and host of You’re the Expert, a live show, podcast, and public radio program on Boston’s WBUR where three comedians try to guess what a scientist studies all day. In addition to comedy, Chris is a writer whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Makeshift Magazine, and Wag’s Revue. Chris is both a former fifth-grade teacher and a former fifth-grade student.

“You’re the Expert” podcast with Chris Duffy

Ann Daly and Álvaro Marcos

Álvaro Marcos

New York artist Ann Daly and Spanish musician Álvaro Marcos will discuss their ongoing creative collaboration.

Marcos has been instrumental in connecting Daly with Spain and Madrid’s political landscape and independent music scene after the 15M-Indignados social movement of 2011 (similar to Occupy), which triggered an ongoing political and cultural shift that both echoes and problematizes the one following Dictator Franco’s death in 1975.

Ann Daly

Daly has been exploring the unrest of the transition to Democracy from Fascism in 1978 and the urban youth movement of La Movida, through filming conversations with Spanish friends who came of age during the late ’70s.

SPECERE LAB (Artists Ann Burke Daly and Álvaro Marcos) to bring multichannel sound and video installation to Vassar



Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield Credit: Curt Richter

Jane Hirshfield is an award-winning poet, essayist, and translator. She has published eight collections of poetry including The Beauty, After, and Given Sugar, Given Salt. Her collections of essays on “the mind of poetry”— Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World and Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry–are classics in their field. In several important collections she has presented and co-translated the work of poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Japanese Court; Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women and The Heart of Haiku. Instructing us on what it means to awaken to the full capacity of attention, Jane Hirshfield’s work ranges from the metaphysical and passionate to the political, ecological, and scientific, to the subtle and miraculous unfoldings of daily life.

Lecture on December 1: Jane Hirshfeld Lecture

Kairos Italy Theater

The New York City troupe Kairos Italy Theater

The Kairos Italy Theater (KIT), based in New York, is a theater company that showcases Italian culture in unique artistic and creative ways. KIT is devoted to spreading Italian culture and creating an Italian cultural network within the U.S. It has produced over 40 performances and events since its founding in 2000 and has collaborated with Off-Broadway theaters as well as many institutions ranging from universities, to museums, to art and film companies.

Performance on November 3: La Mandragola

Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit ©-DBOX

Philippe Petit, “the man who walks on air,” is the only living high-wire artist who performs in the world at large, outside the circus. He has made seventy high-wire walks all over the world and each one, in his mind and in the eyes of thousands of spectators, has been a work of art—the art of balance in its richest sense—not a daredevil stunt but a complex and intricately choreographed theatrical performance. The most famous of these performances was his 1974 walk on a cable stretched between the twin towers of the World Trade Center when he electrified New York by performing on the wire for nearly an hour. Petit’s feat was the subject of an award-winning 2008 documentary film “Man on Wire” and a 2015 movie directed by Robert Zemeckis, The Walk.

Lecture on October 6: “Cheating the Impossible”

Costa Compagnie

Costa Compagnie - Conversion/After Afghanistan poster

Costa Compagnie is a contemporary dance, performance, and documentary theater company based in Hamburg, Germany. Director Felix Meyer-Christian and choreographer Jascha Viehstadt, along with the other members of Costa Compagnie, work together to create unique productions portraying the relationships between humanity and transformative global affairs.

Performance on October 1: “CONVERSION_2/After Afghanistan”

Barbara Beisinghoff

Barbara Beisinghoff is shown during a performance at the Leipzig Museum.

Barbara Beisinghoff is a prize-winning graphic artist from Germany, known for her installations, etchings, one-of-a-kind artists’ books, and a vast array of watermark and waterjet illustrations on hand-made paper. Throughout her career of more than five decades, Beisinghoff’s work has been exhibited internationally in China, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Korea, and the U.S.

Exhibition from September 29–October 16: “When Light Touches Paper: Watermarks By Barbara Beisinghoff”

Event on October 6: Gallery talk with Barbara Beisinghoff

Screening on October 3: “Grow Vaulted, World” A documentary on Besinghoff’s work at Vassar directed by Eva Wal


Courtney Starrett

Courtney Starrett

Courtney Starrett is assistant professor of fine and digital art at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and co-owner of Plural Studios. She previously held the rank of associate professor at Winthrop University, visiting lecturer at SUNY New Paltz, and assistant professor at Kendall College of Art and Design. She has presented her research and writings internationally. Her creative work has been exhibited across the U.S. as well as in England and Germany. Her work is included in the permanent collection at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, OR, and the Mint Museum Uptown in Charlotte, NC. Starrett’s works have been published in How Magazine, Metalsmith Magazine, Art Jewelry Magazine, two of the Lark Books 500 series, and featured on the cover of the August 2008 Metalsmith Magazine’s Exhibition in Print.

“Intersections”—An Installation of Shapes, Shadows, and Light

Susan Reiser

Susan Reiser

Susan Reiser is an educator with a private sector background in software development. In addition to her corporate work, she developed visualization applications for Duke’s Basic Arrhythmia Lab. Currently, she is a lecturer in the Departments of Computer Science, Engineering, and New Media at North Carolina’s public liberal arts college, UNC Asheville; where she also serves as the Associate Dean of Natural Sciences. She is obsessed with high-low tech making, user-centered design, tangible computing, Processing, and the Arduino. Susan’s formal education is computer science centric: a BS in Computer Science from Duke with a concentration in zoology and an MS in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina. Like all of us who work with technology, she is a professional learner and has augmented her computer science course work, e.g., undergraduate art classes (UNC Asheville), machining classes (AB Tech), and myriad workshops. Her interests and publications are in the fields of computer graphics, tangible computing, and computing in the arts. Other relevant and current positions include being the PI on UNC Asheville’s Computing in the Arts NSF TUES Grant, the SENCER Center of Innovation South Co-Director, a collaborative Co-Founder of STEAM Studio @ the RAMP (River Arts Maker Space), an Autodesk Faculty Fellow, and a collaborator with Seton Hall’s Courtney Starrett.

“Intersections”—An Installation of Shapes, Shadows, and Light


Hope Singsen

Hope Singsen

Actor, writer, and Vassar alum Hope Singsen has appeared in numerous films and television shows, as well as on the New York stage. Select credits include Disney’s College Road Trip (opposite Martin Lawrence), Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Collar, and the New York Premiere of José Rivera’s Sonnets for an Old Century at The Barrow Group, where she is a frequent contributing member. Singsen was recently selected to be a Vassar Artist-in-Residence at CATWALK Art Residency in Catskill, NY.

One-woman show explores the power of creativity in transcending sexual violence.