The first in a new series of events highlighting the work of faculty who have recently spent time on sabbatical featured Yiddish singing with piano accompaniment, 18th century British portraiture and invasive plant life in the Caribbean.
Organized by the Office of the Provost and the Center for Faculty Excellence, the Provost’s Post-Sabbatical Colloquium Series gives faculty the opportunity to share the research or creative activity they engaged in during their sabbaticals. The first colloquium was held on Thursday, September 20, and featured presentations by Deborah Martin, professor of music; Jennifer Germann, associate professor of art history; and Peter Melcher, professor of biology. Dana Professor Stephen Sweet served as moderator.
Melcher said the colloquium showed the range of scholarship that students have access to at the college. Presenting his own research helped him to consider how to relate his work to a general audience.
“When you’re being asked to give a presentation to your colleagues and to the campus, it elevates the way you think about what you’re doing and how to present it in a different or new way,” Melcher said.
Martin discussed planning the opening concert of the 2018 Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival. Using video clips and infographics, she explained how she wove together several diverse pieces of music into Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pieces from an Exhibition” to create an uninterrupted, 75-minute concert. She invited Brad Hougham, associate professor in the Department of Performance Studies, to sing one of the pieces from the concert — a Yiddish song by French composer Joseph Maurice Ravel — while she played along on piano.