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Bard College Appoints Several Distinguished Scholars and Artists to Faculty This Fall

New Faculty Includes Arthur Aviles and Nia Love in Dance; Lera Auerbach and Whitney Slaten in Music; Heather Bennett in Biology; Justin Dainer-Best in Psychology; Wakako Suzuki in Japanese; and David Ungvary in Classical Studies and Literature

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Bard College announces the appointment of several distinguished new members of faculty across disciplines this fall. Arthur Aviles ’87 joins the faculty as a guest artist in dance. Aviles is an award-winning New York–based dancer and choreographer. After receiving his degree in dance and theater from Bard, Aviles performed with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company for eight years. The founder of Arthur Aviles Typical Theater (AATT) and cofounder of BAAD! The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, he was honored with a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for outstanding creative achievement during the Jones/Zane seasons of 1988 and 1989. He is also the recipient of a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its own) Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Tanne Foundation award, Creative Artist Image Award, the Mayor’s Award for Art and Culture, and an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from Bard College. Aviles’s company has performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Jacob’s Pillow, Dance Theater Workshop, Central Park SummerStage, Symphony Space, Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and other venues in New York and around the country. In 2002, the company founded the Bronx Dance Coalition, which strengthens and supports professional dancers and dance companies based in the Bronx. Aviles has been awarded dance residences and led workshops at Oberlin College, Arizona State University, Middlebury College, and SUNY Purchase, among many others.

As part of the Bard Dance Program’s new partnership with the American Dance Festival (ADF), students will encounter through coursework, artist residencies, performance opportunities, and public dialogs, a range of well-respected artists who put research and inquiry at the center of their professional practices. This fall, Nia Love joins the Bard dance faculty as an ADF teaching artist. Love is an artist, choreographer, activist, mother, warrior, and educator continuing to expand conversations of intersectionality through dance. She was invited to apprentice with the world renowned Ballet Nacíonal De Cubá, Havana (1978). She is a graduate of Howard University (BFA) and Florida State University (MFA). Awarded Fulbright Fellowships (2001-2003), she continues to work nationally and internationally. Nia worked and danced with Min Tanaka, the celebrated Japanese Butoh master and has had her work presented at Judson Church, Harlem Stage, Bates Dance Festival, PS122, Project Artaud, and Tanzanian–Time 2Dance Festival, to name a few. Love was awarded the Alvin Ailey NDCL grant, the Suitcase Fund, and CUNY Choreographic Initiative and most recently the Movement Research Artist-in-Residence 2016-17.

Lera Auerbach joins Bard’s Music Program as visiting artist in residence. Auerbach received her BM and MM from The Juilliard School and her postgraduate degree in piano from Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media. She is a composer, concert pianist, poet, and visual artist who has published more than 100 works for opera, ballet, orchestral, and chamber music, and performs as concert pianist throughout the world. Recent works have been staged by the San Francisco Ballet, Stanislavsky Theatre, Hamburg State Opera, Theatre an der Wien, National Ballet of China, Finnish National Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Netherlands Dans Theater, and New York’s Lincoln Center, among others. She is a regular contributor to the Best American Poetry blog through her column, The Trouble Clef, and has published three books of poetry and prose in Russian as well as the English language Excess of Being (2015), in which she explores the aphorism. Her honors include two Golden Masks, the ECHO Klassik, Hindemith Prize, German National Radio Prize, and Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship. The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, selected Auerbach as a Young Global Leader in 2007 and as a Cultural Leader in 2014. Past residencies include the Trans-Siberian Art Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and Staatskapelle in Germany, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Norway’s Trondheim Festival, São Paulo Symphony in Brazil, and Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Her music is available on Deutsche Grammophon, Nonesuch, BIS, Cedille, and other labels.

Heather Bennett joins the Biology Program as assistant professor of biology. Bennett received her BS from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and PhD in molecular biology, cellular biology, and biochemistry from Brown University. She was a Penn-PORT Fellow in neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her thesis, “Loss of Notch or JNK Signaling Results in FOXO Dependent Compensatory Sleep in C. elegans” received a Ford Foundation Graduate Dissertation Fellowship honorable mention. She has taught courses in molecular and behavior genetics of neurological disease and the genetics and biochemistry of development. Her work has been published in PLOS One and Journal of Immunology; and she has given talks at various universities on such subjects as “Using C. Elegans to investigate how animals survive in low oxygen conditions”; “How do worms sleep?”; and “C. Elegans to study sleep, stress, and neuronal circuitry in response to anoxic insult.” Bennett is a member of the Sleep Research Society, Genetics Society of America, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Justin Dainer-Best joins the Psychology Program as assistant professor of psychology. Dainer-Best received his BA from Haverford College and is a PhD candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. He completed a clinical psychology internship at the University of Vermont. His research interests include the cognitive bases of depression, open science research practices, statistical modeling, and novel ways to use the internet and mobile technology to carry out psychological science. His research deals with identifying and modifying negative self-reference cognition in depression. His peer-reviewed work has appeared most recently in the publications PLOS ONE, Psychological Assessment, Journal of Affective Disorders, and Biological Psychology.

Whitney Slaten joins the Music Program as assistant professor of music. Slaten received his BM from William Paterson University. He earned a MA, MPhil, and his PhD in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. His dissertation, “Doing Sound: An Ethnography of Fidelity, Temporality, and Labor among Live Sound Engineers,” contributed to scholarship about music, technology, and labor studies. He has worked as a recording engineer and as a saxophonist in the New York City jazz and world music scenes, performing with artists including Babatunde Olatunji and Clark Terry. He previously taught or served as part-time lecturer at The New School, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, Seton Hall University, William Paterson University, and Columbia University, leading courses such as “Thriller”: Deconstructing Popular Music Production, Recording Studio as Instrument, Progressive Trends in Jazz and Concert Music, Technologies of Global Pop, Music Engineering, Theory of Music, and Masterpieces of Western Music. He has authored articles and reviews that have appeared in Current Musicology, The Diapason, Ethnomusicology Review, and Souls. His discography as a performer includes Expedition, Clark Terry and Louie Bellson; That Holiday Feeling, Ron Foster and Kindred Spirits; Live at Trumpets, Kelvin Quince Quintet; and Live at Marian’s, Clark Terry Big Band. As a producer/engineer, his discography includes Arthur Bird: Music for the American Harmonium, Artis Wodehouse; Creation Story, John-Carlos Perea; and This Little Light of Mine, Courtney Bryan.

Wakako Suzuki joins the Foreign Languages, Cultures, and Literatures Program as assistant professor of Japanese. Suzuki received a BA from Rikkyo University in Tokyo, MA in modern European studies from Columbia University, MA in Japanese literature from Stanford University, and PhD from University of California, Los Angeles. Suzuki’s research interests include childhood studies, translation and translation theory, and gender and sexuality, all reflected in her dissertation, “Writing Boys and Girls in Imperial Japan: Politics and Poetics of Childhood, 1868–1912.” She has taught courses ranging from elementary Japanese to Japanese popular culture and race, gender, and class through Japanese cinema. Publications include “On the Present Reception of Yokomitsu’s Work in North America—From the Perspective of Shanghai Discussed in the Classroom,” and “Youth,” both in Yokomichi Riichi Studies. She is the recipient of numerous travel awards and fellowships, and has presented papers at Rikkyo University, Korea University in Seoul, University of California Berkeley, Pennsylvania State University, Meiji University in Tokyo, and the University of Sydney, among others.

David Ungvary joins the Classical Studies Program and Literature Program as assistant professor of classics. Ungvary received his AB from Duke University, MSt from University of Oxford, and is a PhD candidate at Harvard University, where he taught classes in Virgil’s poetry and its reception, beginning Greek and Latin, and Late Antique and medieval Latin prose selections. His dissertation, in Medieval Latin, is titled “Verse and Conversion: Poetry, Christianity, and the Transformation of the Roman World, 400–700 AD.” He is the author of “The Voice of the Dead King Chindasuinth: Poetry, Politics, and the Discourse of Penance in Visigothic Spain,” Early Medieval Europe (forthcoming); and “A Letter from Bishop Alexios Celadenos to Pope Julius II (Latin translation), in collaboration with Professor Robert Nelson, Yale University (forthcoming). He has made presentations at the University of Vienna, University of Oxford, Society for Classics Studies Annual Meeting, Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting, Dumbarton Oaks, and Villanova University, among others. He has a reading knowledge of ancient Greek, Latin (classical and medieval), German, French, Spanish, and Italian; and speaks German and Spanish.

Bard also welcomes filmmaker A. Sayeeda Moreno as visiting assistant professor of film in the Film and Electronic Arts Program; architect Mike Aziz as visiting designer in residence in the Environmental and Urban Studies Program; and journalist Adam Shatz as visiting professor of the humanities.

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This event was last updated on 07-31-2018