On Thursday, April 12, Wesleyan seniors will be handing in their senior theses, or the written components of their capstone projects. These often begin as labors of love, but over the course of the year they also become labors of craft, diligence, creativity and care. In an earlier post, I commented on some of the many erudite, original and exciting projects. This week the celebrations of all that hard work begin. Congratulations to all those seniors who have brought these projects to fruition.
And let’s not forget the faculty who have worked side by side with the theses writers (and artists, experimenters) all year. Now these advisers join outside readers on each project in providing critical feedback. This is an enormous amount of work that our faculty take on each spring. I am very grateful for their efforts!
As we celebrate the completed theses, we also offer congratulations to two of our faculty members who have been awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. With the support of the Guggenheim Elizabeth Willis, Shapiro-Silverberg Professor of Creative Writing, will be focusing on her next book of poems. Just recently her last book, Address, was acknowledged with the 2012 PEN / Laurence L. & Thomas Winship Poetry Award.
Magda Teter, is also a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim award (she had already received a Harry Frank Guggenheim award earlier year!). Magda, Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies, writes on the history of Jews in Early Modern Poland. Her Sinners on Trial: Jews and Sacrilege after the Reformation was published in 2011 by Harvard University Press, and her new project examines the Papal power in relation to the “blood libel.”
Elizabeth and Magda have been teaching at Wes for many years, and have legions of devoted students (and colleagues). We are happy to add laurels to those being bestowed on this generous, challenging and graceful poet, and on this gifted, creative and incisive historian. Congratulations!