Images of various Purchase College faculty

Faculty and Staff Footnotes

November–December 2015

School of the Arts:
Conservatory of Dance
Conservatory of Music
Conservatory of Theatre Arts
School of Art+Design
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences:
School of Film and Media Studies
School of Humanities
School of Natural and Social Sciences
School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education
Purchase College Library
Academic Affairs, Student Affairs & Student Success

School of the Arts

Janis Astor del Valle, assistant professor of practice in arts management and entrepreneurship, received an appointment as a member/playwright in the Actors Studio’s Playwright/Director’s Workshop for the 2015–16 season. She participated in the October CLARO Conference, “D’Eso No Se Habla/We Don’t Talk About That,” at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work in West Hartford, Conn. Astor del Valle participated in a reading and book signing in celebration of the publication of Sinister Wisdom 97: Out Latina Lesbians at the Bluestockings Bookstore, Café, and Activist Center in New York City on Oct. 9. Astor del Valle is a contributing writer for the journal Sinister Wisdom. She wrote and performed in her solo play Staying con la Gana on Oct. 10 at the Lyric Hall Theatre in New Haven, Conn. On Oct. 11, she was the co-facilitator for the New Haven Story Project Exhibitions, part of the Citywide Open Studios/Alternative Space Weekend at the Goffe Street Armory in New Haven, Conn.

Jeffrey Taylor, assistant professor of arts management, has had his book In Search of the Budapest Secession: The Artist Proletariat and Modernism’s Rise in the Hungarian Art Market, 1800–1914 reviewed in Centropa, the journal of Central European architecture and related arts (Sept. 2015, vol. 15, no. 3), and in Slavic Review, the interdisciplinary quarterly of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (Summer 2015, vol. 74, no. 2). In October at the Wainwright House in Rye, N.Y., Taylor gave a talk on “The Palliative Energy of Art,” specifically the uses of art therapy and its benefits to cancer survivors. Also in October, the Frick Art Reference Library’s Center for the History of Collecting acquired Taylor’s archive and database of the Hungarian art market (1800–1914). The database inventories 70,000 artworks and related sales information, and the archive of scanned exhibition catalogs contains 800 unique volumes. It will complement the museum’s significant archives of the Vienna Secession and be made available to researchers from around the world who use the renowned Frick Museum Library and Research Center. On Nov. 8, Taylor was the keynote speaker at the Osborn retirement community’s Interfaith Harvest Festival in Rye. In his talk, “School for Exiles,” he discussed his Peace Corps service in Hungary from 1990 to 1992. And, on Jan. 6, 2016, Taylor’s article “The Secret to All Great Art Forgeries” will be published in the New Republic.

Arrow up icon 

Conservatory of Dance

Neil Alexander, an accompanist at the conservatory, will receive the Individual Artist award at the 2015 Annual Orange County Arts Council Arts Awards on Nov. 12 at the Umbra Sound Stage in Newburgh, N.Y. The council’s mission is to champion the arts, connect artists and audiences, and foster the growth of the county’s creative resources. Toward that end, Alexander provides free electronic music production workshops, “Wired Wednesdays,” once a month at the Newburgh Free Library. Alexander also recently recorded Soft Invaders (Sept. 2015), a new work of original ambient electronic music, recorded live, on air, on the Music With Space radio program, WPRB (Princeton University Public Radio).

Arrow up icon 

Conservatory of Music

Deborah Buck, assistant professor (violin), performed with the Lark Quartet on Oct. 16 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, St. Bonaventure University, in Bonaventure, N.Y.

Joe Ferry, professor (studio production), produced the new video by his reggae group, The Big Ska Band, on Nov. 11. The video is part of the release of the first single, Carry On, on their new album for Shanachie Records. Featured in the Big Ska Band are Corey Glover, the Grammy Award–winning vocalist from Living Colour, and Purchase alumni Joey Ray and Dan Kottmann. The video, which will be released for airplay on MTV and other video channels in December, precedes the northeast U.S. tour.

Arrow up icon 

Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Rachel Dickstein, visiting assistant professor of theatre and performance, and her theatre company Ripe Time have received a completion commission for Sleep, an adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story, from Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Calif. Dickstein will present a work-in-progress production of the project at the Japan Society in New York City on Feb. 26–28, 2016.

Cobina Gillitt, assistant professor of theatre and performance, was the dramaturg for The Golem: A Horror Opera, written and directed by Liz Swados, co-conceived by Liz Swados and Cobina Gillitt, with musical direction by Trevor Bachman, based on the Jewish legend about a “man of clay” created to save the Jews of Prague from horrific acts of antisemitism during the 16th century. It ran Oct. 1–10 at the Burrows Theatre, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Gillitt participated on two panels at the Association for Asian Performance Conference, held July 29–31 in Montreal, Canada. For the “Founders of the Field” panel, she presented a paper on Rachel Cooper, director for global performing arts and special cultural initiatives at the Asia Society. On the roundtable “Defining the Field: What is Asian Theatre?,” she presented her reasoning behind the name and description changes she proposed for a theatre and performance course at Purchase, from “Non-Western Theatre History and Practice” to “Theatre and Asia.” And on Sept. 19, Gillitt was a panelist at a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event, “Expressive Expedients,” sponsored by the PEN American Center Translation Committee. She spoke about the importance of the sound and rhythm of words when translating for the stage.

Lenka Pichliíková, lecturer in theatre and performance (part-time), presented her one-woman show on Oct. 27 at ABCD/Inner City Children’s Center in Bridgeport, Conn., as part her longstanding program of outreach to underserved preschool and elementary school students, and at the Julia A. Stark Elementary School in Stamford.

Pamela Prather, assistant professor of acting, recently served as vocal, dialect, and text coach for One Man, Two Guvnors at the Tony Award–winning Alley Theatre in Houston. Dialects included Essex, Yorkshire, 1960s Brighton, and East London. This was the opening production in the newly renovated space directed by the Alley Theatre’s artistic director, Gregory Boyd. Prather also served as the international conference director for VASTA (Voice And Speech Trainer Association), Aug. 2–5, in Montreal, Canada.

Greg Taylor, director of the conservatory, has an article, “Thumbs in the Crowd: Artists and Audiences in the Post-Vanguard World,” appearing as the first chapter in the book Film Criticism in the Digital Age, Mattias Frey and Cecilia Sayad, eds. (Rutgers University Press, 2015).

Arrow up icon 

School of Art+Design

Daniel Bauer, assistant professor (part-time, photography), participated on the panel “On Borders of Time, Space and Image” at the 2015 Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society Annual Conference, held at Rutgers University’s Continuing Studies Conference Center in New Brunswick, N.J., on Oct. 22–24. The conference was organized around the theme of “Border Tensions: Troubling Psychoanalysis.” Bauer’s contribution to the panel was titled “Where’s the Door? The Architectural Uncanny of Boston’s [Erich Lindemann Center] Government Center.”

Donna Dennis, professor emerita (sculpture), had a solo exhibition, Studies for Little Tube House and the Night Sky, at Mixed Greens Gallery, Nov. 19–Dec. 22. Dennis was one of 10 artists selected to receive the 2015 Anonymous Was A Woman $25,000 grant this past November. The grant program, now in its 20th year, celebrates and supports the creative voice of the mature female artist.

Stella Ebner, assistant professor (printmaking), is a visiting artist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she will lecture, participate in studio visits, and make a print with undergraduate and graduate students in their printmaking studios.

Kate Gilmore, associate professor (sculpture), had her work Higher Ground installed at the Grand Rapids SiTE:LAB/The Rumsey Street Project as her entry for the ArtPrize exhibition. It was selected by a three-person jury to win the prestigious $200,000 Grand Prize, the world’s largest art prize.

Julian Kreimer, associate professor (painting/drawing and art history), published reviews of artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Joan Snyder, Stanley Whitney, and Leon Golub in the September, October, and November issues of Art in America.

Kakyoung Lee, lecturer (part-time, printmaking), has work in the following solo and group exhibitions: Traces, new video and prints by Lee, at the Ryan Lee Gallery in New York City, Oct. 29–Dec. 23; in the group exhibition Moving Images: Printmaking and Animation at the International Print Center (IPCNY), Sept. 25-Nov. 10; in the group exhibition Korea: Contemporary Art from South and North Korea, curated by Heng-Gil Han, at the Jorgensen Gallery, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Sept. 30–Dec. 11; at the Gowanus Open Studios @ TI Art Studios, Oct. 17–18; and in Mushim SOMA Drawing at the SOMA Drawing Center in Seoul, Korea, Oct. 29–Dec. 23.

Janine Polak, visiting assistant professor (foundation), had a solo exhibition, Thirsty, at Sardine Gallery in Brooklyn, Oct. 10–Nov. 1.

Christopher Robbins, assistant professor (sculpture), presented “Global Imaginations: How to Visualize an Interconnected World” with John Ewing, and Esther Peeren on Sept. 25 at the Research Center of Material Culture, Leiden University, Netherlands. Robbins’ work was included in the following recent exhibitions: Ghana ThinkTank Showcase at FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, Liverpool, UK, Nov. 6–29; Freedom Lies, The Collection Museum, Lincolnshire, UK, Oct. 24, 2015–Feb. 14, 2016, curated by Ashley Gallant; Connecting Cities: In/ Visibility, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Hagen, Germany, Oct. 17–21, curated by Susa Pop; Connecting Cities: In/Visibility, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, Oct. 8–12, curated by Darko Fritz; and Art in Odd Places: RECALL, New York, Oct. 7–11, curated by Kendal Henry and Sara Reisman. Ghana ThinkTank’s Street Signs project, created with students in our School of Art+Design, was profiled on the PBS Newshour, Sept. 10 (“When Street Signs Tell You to Walk, Yield and Stop Racism”) and on Hyperallergic (“#BlackLivesMatter Street Signs Coming to New York This Fall”). And, as part of the SUNY/RF Arts and Humanities Network of Excellence Award, Robbins travelled to Detroit, Mich., with SUNY Buffalo faculty Nick Bruscia and Jordan Geiger to meet with Detroit community organizations and take measurements for architectural plans for an urban revitalization project involving a community land trust, urban gardens, and a Moroccan riad (communal courtyard).

Robert Swainston, assistant professor (printmaking), has work in the group exhibition Commedia: New Prints 2015/Autumn at the International Print Center (IPCNY), New York, N.Y., Nov. 19, 2015–Jan. 16, 2016.

Warren Lehrer, professor (graphic design), was a speaker in October at the national biennial American Institute for Graphic Arts Conference in New Orleans. He spoke about his work as a writer and designer as well as teaching creative writing and graphic design as an integrated expression. In July, Lehrer was a keynote speaker at the Book Arts Biennial Conference/Symposium at the Minneapolis Center for Book Arts, where he presented a performance of his illuminated novel A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley. Lehrer also performed A Life In Books in July at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and in Nov. at the Central Booking Gallery in New York City, as the kick-off event of their Buy the Book Fair, held in conjunction with the New York Fine Art Print Week. During his sabbatical last year, Lehrer performed A Life In Books at multiple venues in the U.S. and Canada including the University of Florida, Gainesville; the University of Arizona, Tucson; SUNY Brockport; Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, N.Y.; New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study and Tisch School of the Arts; the Center for Book Arts, New York City; the University of Memphis, San Francisco State University, and University of Minnesota; NASCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art+Design), Halifax, Nova Scotia; and at the Brooklyn Book Festival and the 2015 &Now Festival: Blast Radius at Cal Arts.

In May, Lehrer and his wife Judith Sloan were commencement speakers at the Andrew Romay New Immigrants Center graduation ceremony, hosted by the Open Society Foundation in New York City. Every graduate of the program received a copy of their book Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America. Upon his return to Purchase, Lehrer participated on a panel, “How Artists Respond to Trauma and Urban Violence,” at the Neuberger Museum of Art. Lehrer is the featured artist for November on the College Book Art Association website.

Arrow up icon 

School of Film and Media Studies

Nicholas Baer, visiting assistant professor of cinema studies and philosophy, was awarded the 2015 Karsten Witte Prize for Best Cinema Studies Essay for “The Rebirth of a Nation: Cinema, Herzlian Zionism, and Emotion in Jewish History” published in the Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook (2014), vol. 59, issue 1, pp. 233–248. The prize is awarded by the AG Filmwissenschaft (Film Studies Working Group) of the German Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft (Society for Media Studies).

Michael Bell-Smith, assistant professor of new media, had his work, Fireworks Clock, included in the 2015 Greater New York exhibition at MoMA PS1, which opened on Oct. 11. The exhibition, curated by Peter Eleey, Douglas Crimp, Thomas Lax and Mia Locks, is the fourth iteration of MoMA PS1’s signature quinquennial survey of New York–based artists. The exhibition runs through Mar. 7, 2016.

Steve Lambert, associate professor of new media, taught a Center for Artistic Activism workshop with Transgender Europe (TGEU) in Berlin in early October, teaching transgender activists from across eastern Europe how to be more effective through combining arts and activism. Lambert’s work can be seen in the group exhibition Corpocracy at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, Oct. 10, 2015–Feb. 14, 2016. Lambert was interviewed on the BBC’s Newsnight about advertising and online ad blockers, and on the Systematic Podcast about technology, art, and activism. He also released a Center for Artistic Activism podcast on what artists and activists can learn from megachurches. In October, Lambert gave the opening remarks and a lecture at the Humanity in Action NY Conference on Art and Activism. In November, he was also a judge for Hotel Wars at Flux Factory and presented a workshop as the Center for Artistic Activism at the Creative Time Summit in New York.

Jason Pine, assistant professor of media, society, and the arts, was awarded one of the oldest Italian literary prizes, the Premio Sila ’49, given for a monograph focused on southern Italy. His book, The Art of Making Do in Naples (Minnesota University Press), was translated into Italian in 2015 as Napoli sotto traccia by Donzelli Editori. Pine discussed neomelodica and schlager music on the national Italian prime-time television talk show, L’erba dei vicini, on RAI 3, hosted by journalist Beppe Severgnini. He was also interviewed on a national Italian radio program, La lingua batte, on RAI Radio3, about his research on organized crime in Italy’s Campania region. His book was also featured in an article in the newspaper Il Mattino and received mention in the Italian Huffington Post. On Nov. 9, Pine gave a performance lecture, “Methlabs and Late Industrial Alchemy in Rural Missouri,” at the American Academy in Berlin. This fall, he also published an essay, “Methlabs and Industrial Alchemy,” in the Berlin Journal.

Lorraine Plourde, assistant professor of media, society, and the arts, presented the paper “Cat Labor in Precarious Japan” at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in Milwaukee, Wisc., held on Nov. 12–14.

Edward Pomerantz, associate professor of screenwriting (part-time), directed a benefit performance of his play Electra: The Rewrite, at the West Park Church in New York City on Nov. 23. Originally staged in Greece at the Athens Fringe Festival, this production was its American premiere for the benefit of the Harlem Arts Alliance Dramatic Writing Workshop, a program of free all-day workshops that Pomerantz co-founded more than 20 years ago with the Writers Guild of America East to find and nurture playwrights and screenwriters in the Harlem community.

Arrow up icon 

School of Humanities

Nicholas Baer Refer to School of Film and Media Studies.

Anthony Domestico, assistant professor of literature, recently published the following book reviews: David Orr’s The Road Not Taken in the Christian Science Monitor; Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty Is a Wound in the San Francisco Chronicle; and Ceridwen Dovey’s Only the Animals and Ludmila Ulitskaya’s The Big Green Tent in the Boston Globe. Domestico also published two essays for Commonweal, one on three recent works of literary criticism and one on the poetry of Lawrence Joseph. In November, he chaired a panel on Romanticism and Modernism at the Modernist Studies Association Conference 17, held in Boston, Mass.

Casey Haskins, associate professor of philosophy, delivered the paper “Dewey and the Dialectic of Digital Enlightenment (or: This is Your Consummatory Experience on Facebook)” on Nov. 20 for the Montclair State University Philosophy Colloquium Series.

Lisa Keller, professor of history, served as historical consultant to the Museum of the City of New York exhibition Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, which opened Sept. 17 and is on display until Feb. 7, 2016. Keller organized a symposium on the New York writer Joseph Mitchell, held at Columbia University on Oct. 7 and featuring Steve Coll, dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; the writer Gay Talese; and Mitchell biographer Tom Kunkel. She was also the co-organizer of the Creativity Connects conference, held at Purchase College on Oct. 16 and co-sponsored by the Purchase College history program and the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. This conference was attended by more than 150 historians, archivists, librarians, and others involved in history of the nine-county Lower Hudson Valley region. And on Oct. 18, Keller gave a talk, “The Problem That has No Name: The 1960s Women’s Revolution,” for a lecture series on “The Sixties” at the Chappaqua Public Library.

Kathleen McCormick, professor of literature and writing, has published her first novel, Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood (Sand Hill Review Press, 1st ed., Nov. 2015).

Jennifer Uleman, associate professor of philosophy, delivered a talk, “How Would You Regard a Friend? Kant, Suicide, and the Moral Demands of Friendship,” to the Philosophy Department at the University of Richmond on Oct. 19.

Arrow up icon 

School of Natural and Social Sciences

Shemeem Abbas, associate professor of political science, participated in the panel discussion “Exposing Identity: Who We Are and Who We Pretend to Be,” held at Purchase College on Oct. 27 in conjunction with the one-woman show Burq Off!

Karen L. Baird, associate professor of political science, presented “When Sex Becomes Dangerous: HIV Prevention Policies and the Control of Women’s ‘Risky’ Behavior” to the Women and Society University Seminar, Columbia University, on Oct. 19.

George P. Kraemer, professor of environmental studies, is the co-author of a book chapter, “Nutrient Bioextraction,” with J. Rose, et al. in the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology (Springer Science Media, Oct. 6, 2015, pp. 1–33). Kraemer was also recently invited to give a talk, “Aliens! Invasion of the Long Island Sound Estuary,” for the Bruce Museum’s Fred Elser First Sunday Science @ Seaside Center series, held at Greenwich Point Park, Old Greenwich, Conn.

Lisa Jean Moore, professor of sociology and gender studies, has several recent publications, including: “A Day at the Beach: Rising Sea Levels, Horseshoe Crabs, and Traffic Jams,” in Sociology, vol. 49, no. 5, pp. 886–902, 2015 (related podcast); “Legally Sexed: Birth Certificates and Transgender Citizens,” with Paisley Currah, in Feminist Surveillance Studies, Rachel Dubrofsky and Shoshana Magnet, eds. (Chapel Hill, NC: Duke University Press, 2015, pp. 58–76); “Embodied knowledge,” with alumnus Jeffrey Mathias, and “Post-humanism,” with Kyle Moran, in the Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology (2nd edition), George Ritzer, ed.

Milton Primer, lecturer in physics (part-time), made a presentation and led a workshop on “Introduction to Calligraphy” at the Mount Kisco Library on Oct. 5.

Karen Singer-Freeman, associate professor of psychology, presented the following papers in October: “Effects of the Purchase College Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program on Degree Completion,” K.E. Singer-Freeman, J. Campos, and Linda Bastone (2015), at the SUNY STEM Conference in Albany, N.Y.; and “Making it Real: Teaching through Reflective Writing Supports Conceptual Mastery and Student Well-Being,” K.E. Singer-Freeman and Linda Bastone (2015), a webinar presented as part of the LiveText Best Practices Webinar Series.

Liza G. Steele, assistant professor of sociology, recently published “Income Inequality, Equal Opportunity, and Attitudes About Redistribution” in Social Science Quarterly, vol. 96, no. 2, pp. 444–464, DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12145. She also presented the following: “Wealth and Preferences for Redistribution” at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill., in August, and at Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meeting in New York, N.Y., in February; “Multi-Religiosity” at the Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, in June; and “Ethnic Diversity and Attitudes About Redistribution” at the 2015 Sociology of Development Conference at Brown University in Providence, R.I., in March.

Ragnhild Utheim, lecturer (part-time, anthropology), organized and presented on the panel “Working Notes from Teaching in Prison: Purpose, Pedagogy and Possibilities” at the National Conference on Higher Education in Prison 2015, held on Nov. 6–8 in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Arrow up icon 

School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education

Judith Dupré, lecturer (part-time) and official biographer of the new One World Trade Center, is featured in the film One World Trade Center: Engineering an Icon.

Michael G. Garber, lecturer in liberal studies (part-time), presented at two conferences: in May, “Music to Enhance Education and Caregiving” with Sue Carpenter and Susan West at the 2015 YAI International Conference on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in New York City; and in June at the Song, Stage, and Screen X Conference at Regent’s University in London, he analyzed “The Sad Clown” in American stage and screen musicals. In the new Grove Dictionary of American Music, Garber also contributed two entries, one about the Broadway composer Mary Rodgers and the other about Rouben Mamoulian, the stage and screen director.

Michael Taub, lecturer (part-time), presented a paper on playwright Wendy Wasserstein at the annual meeting of the Association of Jewish Studies on Dec. 14 in Boston, Mass.

Purchase College Library

Keith Landa, director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center, facilitated a workshop on “Reflective Learning and COIL Activities” for the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning, as part of the Latin America Academy 3, which took place Sept. 17–21 in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Landa also provided instructional design support for the 15 partnerships between SUNY and Mexican faculty, which comprised the Academy.

Arrow up icon 

Academic Affairs, Student Affairs & Student Success

Robin Aleman, director of budget and administration for academic affairs, performed with the Riverdale Repertory Company in The World Goes Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb on Nov. 7, 8, 14, and 15 at the Riverdale YM/YWHA.

Shinelle L. Espaillat, associate director of the Learning Center and assistant director of College Writing, published a review of R. Daniel Evans’ Masks and Icons in the online journal Cleaver Magazine.

Lauren Rodriguez, program coordinator in the Office of Access and Accommodations, recently defended her dissertation, “Academic Support Services and College Success for Students with a Learning Disability.” In November, she earned her PsyD in school psychology from Alfred University.

Arrow up icon 


Many of the above activities are supported by funds for faculty development generously provided by Eugene and Emily Grant, and by the Purchase College Foundation.

Faculty and Staff Footnotes is published by the Office of the President. Please email news items directly to Carrie.Bianchi@purchase.edu.