Allison Hurd ’11
Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts was, undoubtedly, one of the most integral aspects of my college experience. I always thought of it as a kind of vibratory sanctuary where an incredible amount of creativity and exploration was happening. The activity that took place in so many of its spaces helped me realize a charged, yet meditative relationship to artistic experience. Gamelan concerts in the World Music Hall, Studio Art theses in the Zilkha Gallery, Theater productions like Big Love, Film thesis screenings in the Goldsmith Family Cinema, Pedro Alejandro’s site-specific dance No Eggshells/Outside — these are just a few of the resonating experiences afforded to me by the CFA. Furthermore, because of the CFA’s Creative Campus Fellowship, I was offered a remarkable internship with the Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group of Brooklyn, New York. Without the efforts of the CFA to foster relationships between students and artists working in the professional field, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity, which greatly influenced my development as an artistic thinker and doer.
Favorite Course: “Pathological Citizens: The Politics and Poetics of Disease in Latin American Literature,” taught by Lina Meruane of the Spanish department; and “Dance and Technology,” taught by Rachel Boggia of the Dance department, were two of the most illuminating courses I took at Wesleyan. Both introduced me to a world of knowledge and progressive thinking that continue to inform my scholarly pursuits. Through discussion as well as written and creative projects, Professors Meruane and Boggia allowed each student to access his or her individual strengths in relation to the course material, which, ultimately, led to profound internal discovery and realization.
Favorite Professor: While I was deeply impacted by the teaching of many professors, Henry Abelove has always stood out in my memory. My experience in his course on British literature revealed his unique ability to inspire the attentiveness and accountability of his students. Accordingly, the close reading skills that Professor Abelove helped cultivate in his classroom have enhanced my approach to learning beyond measure. The grace, good humor, and egalitarian spirit with which he engaged his students have, jointly, served as a daily model for how I hope to shape my own interactions with others.
[This story is part of a series celebrating the 40th anniversary season at Wesleyan's Center for the Arts. Learn more.]