HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

HCLAS Dean’s Weekly Message

HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message
HCLAS Dean's Weekly Message March 10

April 29, 2019

Dear Students:

In last week’s weekly message I wrote about Notre Dame.  Upon reading it on Monday afternoon, I felt it was tone deaf and perhaps some of you did, too, since it came out to you the day after the Easter morning bombings in Sri Lanka that left over 300 people dead.

First, I’d like to apologize: I’m sorry that the message went out as it did.  This is a reflection of our process for these messages. I write them during the week and on Friday we load them up for distribution on Monday morning.  On that particular Monday morning, I was not on campus first thing in the morning to stop the message from being sent out before I could revise it to reflect the new and darker reality into which we had entered the previous day.  I’m going to be looking at new strategies for managing that process for the coming year. 

Most importantly, my heart goes out to the victims in Sri Lanka and their families and I pray for healing, both there and around the world. Apparently, the group that has claimed responsibility for this hateful act of violence asserts that this was a response to the massacre at the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.  I’m sure that many of us fear that humanity may be entering into a vicious circle of revenge-based tribal violence. 

There are, however, signs of hope, as representatives of many different faiths called upon their adherents to refrain from acts of violence.  Yesterday, I was one of a group of people leading an Interfaith Passover Seder at a mosque in Westbury, an event bringing together Jews, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, adherents of other religions, and individuals who consider themselves atheists and agnostics, in a shared celebration of multi-cultural respect.  One of the most important aspects of Passover is for Jews observing the holiday to remember that we were “strangers” in the land of Egypt, and to be kind to the “strangers” among us.  I put the word “strangers” in quotation marks because the meaning of this word in the cultural context of the Passover text would really mean “immigrants and refugees” and representatives of racial, religious, and ethnic minorities in the 21st century context.

In the context of a rising tide of sectarian violence around the world, I ask you all to consider what you can do to make friends with and be supportive to people who come from backgrounds different from yours, people who may feel marginalized in this and other communities in which you participate.  I ask you to consider how you may lead by example in the exercise of compassion and respect in true reflection of the noblest spirit of humanity.  For those interested in exploring compassion further, perhaps after the end of the semester, I recommend you take a look at charterforcompassion.org and Karen Arstrong’s book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.  (I have no financial or other relationship with the author!)

In short, we can, each of us, make a difference by embracing difference.

As I close these remarks – before turning to Congratulations and Events – I extend my wish to all of you and all the world for peace and compassion.


Congratulations to all the students who performed in last weekend’s Chorale and Chamber Choir concert at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City. The concert was spectacular.  And congratulations to Dr. Fryling, our Professor of Music who conducts the Chorale and Chamber Choir.

Congratulations to all the students in Dr. Merrill’s “Performing for Social Change” class who participated in Hofstra’s first telecollaborative course, engaging in interactions with a performer of a one-man play in Dublin and with the Irish audience of that play.  And congratulations to Dr. Merrill (Department of Writing Studies & Rhetoric) for making this course such a success.  (There will be more telecollaborative courses coming in 2019-2020: stay tuned!)

Congratulations to all the students who have displayed their work in the FORM Gallery over the course of the spring semester.  Our entire community enjoyed seeing your work and we look forward to the exhibits that will come in Fall 2019!


Monday, April 29, 2019

A lecture Ability, and Queerness With Lydia X. Z. Brown is being offered in celebration of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month and in an effort to promote inclusive and intersectional dialogue about social justice, Lydia X. Z. Brown will deliver a lecture about their experiences as an autistic, trans-racial adoptee.  This will be at 7:00 PM in the Guthart Cutural Center Theater.  This event is free, but advance registration is required. Please RSVP using the RSVP for this Event link.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31959

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Professor Manlio Graziano, Université Paris IV La Sorbonne, Paris will give a presentation entitled, “The Geopolitics of Borders,” based on his new book, What Is A Border? (Stanford University Press, 2018.  This is being offered in CV Starr 302 at 12:45-2:10 PM.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=32606

The Department of Philosophy is sponsoring a lecture Gender Identity Trouble by Dr. Robin Dembroff of Yale University.  On a common narrative, ‘gender identity’ is a liberatory concept for gender variant people.  This is being held in the Guthart Cultural Center Theater at 4:30 PM.  For more details:  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33112

The Hofstra Music Department presents Hofstra University Choir and Hofstra Chamber Orchestra with Cindy Bell and Adam Glaser, directors, performing an evening of traditional and contemporary music performed by chamber orchestra and choir.  This is being held at 8 PM in the Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater, John Cranford Adams Playhouse. https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31177

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Writing Studies & Rhetoric Oratory Contest Round One First Rounds of the Writing Studies & Rhetoric Oratory Contest.  All are invited!  The event will be in Breslin 103 & 105 at 11:15 AM to 12:40 PM.  (Final Round of the Oratory Contest is May 9th).  For additional information, contact Amanda Schmidt amanda.schmidt@hofstra.edu  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33113

The Department of Fine Arts, Design, Art History will present their annual student art show reception and awards ceremony.  The show features the year’s best student works including paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, furniture models, works of 3D, design and new media. The show’s guest juror is James Hyde, an American painter, sculptor and photographer who has worked in New York City since the early 1980s.  He is an artist that is recognized both nationally and internationally and he is represented by galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and Copenhagen. The student awards will be given in Calkins Hall, Room 120 from 11:15 AM to 12:40 PM. There will be music and refreshments. For more information call the Department at 516-463-5474.  On display through May 15.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33200

It’s May Day and Hofstra’s Labor Studies Program invites you to May Day at the Movies: Comedy and Tragedy at Work, with films starting at 12:50 and running through 6 pm, with introductions by faculty members, in the Guthart Cultural Center Theater:https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33102

Conversation with Marcus Brauchli, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, North Base Media, Former Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal and Executive Editor of The Washington Post: https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33090 

There will be a poetry reading and special tribute to Yonia Fain, internationally acclaimed artist, poet, author, and Hofstra University associate professor emeritus, who passed away at the age of 100 in December 2013. Through imagery, both visual and written, Fain’s lifelong mission was to express powerful messages of survival and hope. Discussion to follow. Admission is free. Commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Day.Mr. Yonia Fain’s artwork is appearing thru August 16 in the exhibition: Pushing Boundaries: American Art After World War II.  This event is being held in the Emily Lowe Gallery, behind Emily Lowe Hall, from 4:30 to 6:00 PM.  Registration is requested. Contact the Museum at (516) 463-5672. More information here: https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33117

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Hofstra Department of Drama and Dance presents The Student Rep: A Festival of Student Works, an exciting festival of student acting, directing and dance, presented over four days from May 3 to May 6 at 7:00 PM in theJoan and Donald Schaeffer Black Box Theater, Joseph G. Shapiro Family Hall.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31163

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hofstra Music Fest 2019: The 13th annual spring outdoor concert, Music Fest will be held on May 4 from 12:30 – 7:00 p.m. on the Intramural Fields. Performers will be announced soon.  For more information https://www.facebook.com/HofstraMusicFest/  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=33140

The Hofstra Department of Drama and Dance presents The Student Rep: A Festival of Student Works, See May 3 for details or this link  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31163

Hofstra University cordially invite parents, families, and the public to attend our beautiful Spring Family Event:  Tea, Tulips & Trees just in time to celebrate mothers and grandmothers (Mother’s Day is May 12). In collaboration with Hofstra University Museum of Art and the Grounds Department, our annual event will include access to Hofstra’s first building, Hofstra Hall. The Emily Lowe Gallery of the Hofstra University Museum of Art will be open and backpack self-guided tours will be available. Patrice Dimino, landscape designer and assistant curator, will host indoor discussions on the tulips. Fred Soviero, director of the grounds, and Elizabeth Dysart, Hofstra University Museum of Art director of education and engagement, will lead a tour of Hofstra’s arboretum and outdoor sculptures with our tulips at their peak! You are also invited to enjoy a variety of teas and sweets!   This will take place on  Saturday, May 4, 2019:   https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=32773

The Hofstra Music Department presents Hofstra Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band Concert with Peter Loel Boonshaft and James McCrann, directors, performing a program of traditional and contemporary works for wind band  in the Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater, John Cranford Adams Playhouse.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31178

May 5, 2019

All Day – Pushing Boundaries: American Art After World War II exhibit at the Hofstra Museum of Art. In the aftermath of World War II, artists in America continued explorations begun earlier in the 20th century, pushing the boundaries of accepted subject matter and artistic form. Drawn from the Museum’s collection, including works by Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Stanley Twardowicz, and Andy Warhol, this exhibition illuminates the great diversity of art in postwar America. Additionally, a selection of paintings by artist/poet and Holocaust survivor Yonia Fain are highlighted.  Funding has been provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31284

The Hofstra Music Department presents The William Rosencrans Honors Recital featuring Courtney Coxsoprano at 3:00 PM I the Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center.  Admission: Free  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31179

The Hofstra Department of Drama and Dance presents The Student Rep: A Festival of Student Works, See May 3 or this link for details  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31163

Save the Date May 6

Last day to see the Student Rep: See May 3 or this link for details  https://events.hofstra.edu/index.php?eID=31163 




Since the writing of the Weekly Message for distribution on April 29, there has been yet another hate-based attack, this time in a synagogue in San Diego.  I know that all our hearts to go out to the victims, one murdered and others wounded, and their families as we strengthen our resolve to oppose hate in all its forms in our communities locally and globally.

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