Post-Board Open Forum, June 8

Dear Knox Community,

Please join us for the June 2018 Post-Board Open Forum.

The forum will be held on Friday, June 8, at 8:00 a.m. in Alumni Hall’s Trustees Room. The agenda will include a brief presentation on the Board meeting, followed by a question and answer session with members of the Senior Staff. Because we are only able to schedule one forum this week, we will send an audio recording, along with presentation slides, following the meeting so that all members of our community will have an opportunity to hear the presentation.

We hope to see you on June 8.

Best,
Teresa

Denial is Fellowship Recipient

Cate Denial (History) is the recipient of the Friends of the American Philosophical Society Fellowship for 2018-2019 for her work: “Mother of All Living: Motherhood, Religion, and Political Culture at the Ojibwe Village of Fond du Lac, 1830-1840”

Each year, the American Philosophical Society offers two long-term, two digital humanities, and twenty to twenty-five short-term fellowships for scholarly research in its archival collections, particularly on topics relating to the history of science, Native American studies, and Early American history.

Knox Well-Represented in Reading Series

The International Voices Project, a series of staged readings of plays from around the world at the Instituto Cervantes in Chicago, featured Haven by Canadian playwright Mishka Lavigne, translated from French by Neil Blackadder (Theatre). Another reading, of A Muslim in the Midst by Anand Rao, was directed by Emily Antoff ’15.

An earlier reading in the same series, of the Serbian play Hypnotized by Love, by Dušan Kovačević, was directed by Liz Carlin Metz (Theatre) with a cast including Kelly Hogan ’92.

Hoyt Receives Award

Helen Hoyt (Chemistry) received the 2018 “Early Career Chemist Award” at the American Chemical Society, Illinois Heartland Section Spring Meeting (Peoria, IL). This award recognizes outstanding scientific contributions to the field of chemistry by a scientist that is actively using chemistry in a positive way, and who has received their PhD within the last 12 years.

Rubin Article Published

An article by Jonah Rubin (Anthropology/Sociology) has been published. The article is entitled “How Francisco Franco governs from beyond the grave: An infrastructural approach to memory politics in contemporary Spain” and was published in the May issue of American Ethnologist. It can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.1111/amet.12633. For those who don’t have access to the article behind the paywall, a pre-publication draft is available to all through my academia.edu: https://knox.academia.edu/JonahRubin

Campus Update

Dear Knox Community,

Over the last month, the College has been working to address reports of hate speech and issues of inclusivity and academic freedom that have arisen in the context of two bias investigations. I write today to provide an update on the status of the investigations and to offer some additional thoughts to help us move forward. Over the coming academic year, we will revisit many of these issues as we examine how to address them in the context of College policies and practices.

I have heard from dozens of alumni, parents, and others who have urged that the College respond more quickly and publicly to these events. Their concern arises from their deep attachment to the College’s core values and their fears that we may fail to uphold those values in this charged environment. I came to Knox because of those values and, as president, I feel the weight of responsibility for protecting them. I am also charged with upholding the integrity of our institutional processes.

In accordance with these commitments, the College undertook investigations under our established protocols into postings on a visiting instructor’s Twitter account and an anonymous flyer slipped under a different faculty member’s office door. We can all agree that Twitter is not a medium for nuanced scholarly discourse, and many of us, myself included, believe that the tweets reference anti-Semitic themes and stereotypes. Some view the investigation into the tweets as unnecessary, frustrating, or an abdication of our responsibility to call out unacceptable and offensive statements, but we are committed to adhering to procedural standards. If there is a finding that a faculty member has violated College standards, only then can there be corrective action from a range of measures.

I can report now that the investigation into the tweets is complete and that actions have been taken that are consistent with our expectation that all Knox faculty adhere to the College’s standards of faculty responsibility as articulated in the Faculty Handbook. The College does not comment publicly on specific personnel actions, but I can assure you that we have worked carefully to strike the right balance between our unwavering expectation that the learning environment be free of bias and harassment and our long-standing respect for academic freedom.

In addition, the investigation into the responsibility for the anonymous flyer continues. We will quickly pursue any new leads as they become available.

We continue to develop community-wide initiatives to ensure that our students, faculty, and staff feel safe and engaged at Knox. Our director of spiritual life has organized interfaith gatherings as part of new programming made possible by that position. A recent campus dialogue hosted by a Jewish student organization is another example of our community’s work toward strengthening the response to incidents of concern. And since spring 2017, many members of our community have been working closely with the Galesburg United Against Hate group to foster a community that is free from bias and hatred.

There is no doubt that Knox College is a diverse community, but all of us—faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents alike—must work hard to build an inclusive and equitable community. The work to combat hatred and to educate ourselves to see beyond stereotypes will not be easy or quick. I am committed to that work and will continue to encourage vigorous debate and dialogue on the contentious issues of the day, whether they be the boundaries of private speech, the campus as a safe space, the necessity for academic freedom, or the role of social media in our personal and professional lives. It is through this work that we become a better institution tomorrow than we are today.

Sincerely,

Teresa L. Amott
President

Carlin Metz Directed Stage Reading Premiere

Liz Carlin Metz (Theatre) directed the USA premiere stage reading of Hypnotized by Love, by Dušan Kovačević, the most famous living Serbian playwright. The translation was by Dennis Barnett, Associate Professor of Theatre at Coe College. The production was produced by Vitalist Theatre at Instituto Cervantes in Chicago as part of the annual International Voices Project festival of stage readings of international plays. The event was sponsored by the Serbian Consul and attended by members of the consulate staff. The cast featured Knox almunae Kelly Lynn Hogan (AEA) ’92.
http://www.ivpchicago.org/home

Blackadder Gave Presentation at Conference

Neil Blackadder (Theatre) was an invited participant at Drama Across Borders: The Politics & Poetics of Contemporary Theatre in Translation, a site-specific conference at Cornell University and The Cherry Artspace in Ithaca, NY. Blackadder’s presentation was entitled “The challenge of translating Austrian dialect in the plays of Thomas Arzt,” and featured a reading of excerpts from his translation by professional actors at The Cherry.

Knox 101: Update on Summer Capital Projects, May 22

Dear Knox Community,

We’re pleased to announce the final Knox 101: Brown Bag Lunch presentation of the academic year. Please join us on Tuesday, May 22 at noon in the Trustees Room in Alumni Hall for the following:

Knox Works: An Update on Summer Capital Projects

Multiple capital projects are underway this summer, from the BETA House renovation to the transformation of the Second Baptist Church into a new center for spiritual and intercultural life to the addition of a permanent art gallery in the Ford Center for Fine Arts. Join the Senior Staff as they review the many projects that we’ll see transform the campus over the coming months.

The Knox 101: Brown Bag Lunch series is sponsored by Senior Staff and Human Resources. Bring your lunch and join in this discussion to learn more about these important campus initiatives.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, May 22.

Best,
Teresa

Women in Computer Science Club Recognized

Knox’s new Women in Computer Science (WiCS) club was recently recognized as an official student chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery-Women (ACM-W). The ACM-W is an international organization affiliated with the ACM. The ACM-W mission “supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women“.

WiCS’s goal is to provide education, networking, support, and resources for women and girls considering careers in a computing field. As an ACM-W student chapter, club members will benefit from additional educational opportunities, a cadre of club activity ideas, resources for speakers, potential scholarships to attend conferences and potential seed money to fund club activities.

The executive board members are Michelle Dudley (President), Sierra Syverud (Vice President) and Nhi Cung (Treasurer). Monica McGill (Computer Science) serves as the club’s faculty advisor.