Awards and Honors, Bookshelf, Faculty News

Faculty Notes

Faculty and staff have published, performed, and created an astounding array of works in the last several months. Learn more about what your favorite Bennington faculty are doing now in this article featuring media clips and submissions.  

A one-person show of new faculty member Beverly Acha’s paintings opened at Deanna Evans Projects in New York City on September 15. 

Michael Bisio's album Inside Voice/Outside VoiceBass instructor, Michael Bisio, released a new CD entitled “Inside Voice/Outside Voice.”

Faculty member and Associate Director of the Elizabeth Coleman Center for the Advancement of Public Action David Bond was quoted extensively in an article about Saint Gobain’s sponsoring New York City’s Climate Week. The company was the polluter responsible for the contamination of the Hoosick Falls, NY, and North Bennington, VT, water supplies.

Graywolf Press has purchased the rights to two books by faculty member Jenny Boully. The deal includes Close Cover, Strike Gently and Parallax. Close Cover, Strike Gently is set for publication in Spring 2025 with Parallax to follow two years later.

Visiting faculty member Colin Brant, former Bennington Writing Seminars faculty member Melissa Febos, and Michael Pollan '76 were recipients of the prestigious 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. A one-person show, Dirty Snowball, new paintings by Brant, opened at Sonia Dutton in New York City in September. 

Visiting faculty member Kathy Bullock led a workshop at Guilford Community Church to teach new choral music by Black composers, to honor their work, and to share the history of appropriation of Black music in April 2023. Bullock spoke to The Commons about her work, including her Bennington course “Songs of Protest and Praise.”

Faculty member Maya Cantu presented a post-matinee talk, entitled “Becoming a Playwright: Betty Smith at the University of Michigan” at the Mint Theater Company in February 2023. The world premiere of Betty Smith's Becomes a Woman ran February 7-March 18.

Franny Choi
Franny Choi

In April 2023, faculty member Franny Choi joined MT Vallarta in conversation at Dartmouth College for Visibility: 2023, an event to promote gender equity and to combat power-based violence. Watch a livestream of the event. In addition, Choi’s recent book The World Keeps Ending and the World Goes On was a finalist for the 3rd annual Maya Angelou Book Award.  Choi is also the 2023 Arons Visiting Poet at Tulane University in New Orleans. 

Faculty member Noah Coburn published a report with the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs at Brown University, which highlights lack of compensation for injured or killed third country nationals in Afghanistan, and was interviewed by NBC News

Visiting faculty member Michael Cohen published “Parashat Vayigash: The power of words” in the Jerusalem Post in January and “Where conflict is news, stories of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation go missing” in the Jewish Telegraph Agency and “Shifting political tectonic plates in the Middle East” in Arab News in August.

As faculty member Elena Demyanenko continues to develop a new body of work, Movement Research published an article about her experience as a Russian dancer and artist.

Michael Dumanis's book CreatureFour Way Books released faculty member Michael Dumanis’s new book Creature. He read from the volume at Northshire Books in Manchester, and a book party and signing at the Robert Frost Stone House. In addition, a poem by Dumanis and an essay were featured on Poetry Daily.  

Faculty member Anaïs Duplan ’14 has been awarded a $30,000 emerging visionary grant from #BlackVisionaries, which was offered in partnership with Instagram and the Brooklyn Museum.

In addition to having had an opinion piece in the New York Times, visiting faculty member Judith Enck of Beyond Plastics has appeared on CNN multiple times. She has become a major national and international spokesperson working against plastics pollution. Enck also received the 2023 Mohonk Consultations’ Distinguished Achievement Award

In May 2023, faculty emerita Marguerite Feitlowitz presented her translation of Night by Ennio Moltedo as part of Brooklyn Public Library's Colloquy #6: Latin American Poetry in Translation. 

Former faculty member Vivian Fine’s music has been released on an album by Oklahoma State University Greenwood School of Music associate professor Erin Murphy. 

"Dancing through the Pandemic," a project from faculty member Michael Giannitti, featuring the temporary dance space designed on campus in spring 2021, was selected for inclusion in the Prague Quadrennial from June 8-18. In addition, this fall Giannitti designed lighting for the off-Broadway production of Cross That River, which ran at 59 East 59th theaters, and A Man for All Seasons at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey

Mariam Ghani
Mariam Ghani

Faculty member Mariam Ghani is a recipient of a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is among more than 100 Bennington-associated Guggenheim Fellows to have been awarded throughout both organizations’ histories. An Afghan-American artist, writer, and filmmaker, Ghani also appeared on “This Being Human,” the Aga Khan Museum’s podcast series in January 2023. 

Technical instructor in drama Seancolin Hankins produced scenic paintings for the set of “Her Name Means Memory,” a production of Living Room Theater at Park-McCullough Historic Governors Mansion House in North Bennington, VT.

Faculty member and Dean of Faculty Sarah Harris’s article “‘Quería que el lector se pusiera en su lugar’: Techniques for the Recovery of History in Twists of Fate by Paco Roca” was published in Hispanic Issues, a scholarly journal from the University of Minnesota. 

In May 2023, visiting faculty member Maria Dahvana Headley delivered the annual Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford.

The National Endowment for the Humanities featured a retrospective on former faculty Martha Hill, Martha Graham, and Bennington College's influential dance program in Humanities magazine. 

Kirk Jackson
Kirk Jackson

Faculty member Kirk Jackson directed Fun Home at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY, in February. Bennington Technical Instructor in Costume Production Richard MacPike was the costume designer for the production. Bennington students involved included Milo Lis ’24, Nathaniel Frederickson ’26, Grace Phipps ’25, and Hannah Pierera ’23.

Faculty member John Kirk was noted for a performance of the Susquehanna String Band, a group of three educators/musicians, dedicated to the promotion and performance of American traditional music, at the Bainbridge Town Hall Theatre, in Bainbridge, NY, in January 2023. In addition, he and the Bennington traditional music program were highlighted in the July issue of Bluegrass Unlimited.

In the spring of 2023, faculty member Jonathan Kline exhibited at Catskill Art Space in Livingston Manor, NY.

Writing for stage and screen coverSherry Kramer's Writing for Stage and Screen by faculty member Sherry Kramer, has been published by Methuen/Bloomsbury. This book on meaning making in timebound art is part one of Kramer's plainspoken exploration of how we make things matter to an audience.

Zoë Kravitz and Thomasin McKenzie are set to lead in psychological horror film Self-Portrait, based on visiting faculty member Rachel Lyon's debut novel Self-Portrait with Boy.

Faculty member Vanessa Lyon published Lush Lives, a work of fiction, with Roxane Gay Books. She did a reading at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT, in September. 

Faculty member Amie McClellan spoke at the 2nd International Conference on the Chaperone Code in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, in October. Her talk was called "Exploring VHL as a model misfolded substrate for lysine-independent quality control." 

New faculty member Caitlin McDonough MacKenzie is part of a University of Maine-spearheaded team that has been awarded a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant to study alpine plants in New England. 

Communications and Marketing Manager Charlie Nadler and his dad Marty performed at the inaugural Borscht Belt Fest, created by the Catskills Borscht Belt Museum. The lineup featured some of the biggest names in comedy, like Rachel Feinstein and Alan Zweibel.

In January 2023, faculty member Senem Pirler performed at Carnegie Hall as part of an ensemble brought together by Claire Chase performing an all-Pauline Oliveros program to celebrate composer Pauline Oliveros at 90.

Several faculty members collaborated on How to Live, a new play by Mindy Pfeffer, which premiered at the 14 Y Theater/LABA Second Stage in New York City in January 2023. The play was directed by Jean Randich, with set and projection design by Sue Rees, and costume design by Charles Schoonmaker.

Visiting faculty member Lena Retamoso Urbano has published the short story "Vestigios" in Cuadernos Literarios, a literary magazine sponsored by the Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae based in Lima, Peru.

Faculty member Jennifer Rohn will be acting in Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive November 3–25 at Boston’s Calderwood Pavilion. 

John West, MFA ’18 and Bennington Writing Seminars faculty member Hugh Ryan, MFA '09, connected in an Electric Lit interview about West’s new book Lessons and Carols: A Meditation on Recovery.

Ozge Savas
Özge Savaş

Three papers by faculty member Özge Savaş were recently published in peer-reviewed journals: "Decolonial and Intersectional Feminist Psychology for the Future of (Forced) Migration and Refugee Resettlement" in Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, "Epistemic Exclusion and Invisibility in Sex Research: revisiting the WEIRD Dichotomy" in the Journal of Sex Research, and "Vulnerability and Empowerment on the Ground: Activist Perspectives from the Global Feminisms Project" in the Feminism & Psychology Journal

Jacob's Pillow featured an interactive article about their costume collection, which includes work by faculty member Charles Schoonmaker, who was a resident costume designer there early in his career.

Faculty member Tim Schroeder published “Four-dimensional characterization of a PFOA-contaminated fractured rock aquifer (FRA) in Bennington, Vermont, U.S.A” in the journal Frontiers in Water.

Visiting faculty member Mark Schapiro released The Elements, a four-part podcast series looking at how each of the four elements is impacted by climate change or is inspiring responses to it. 

The Arts Fuse reviewed faculty member Allen Shawn's album Improvisation Diary 2020, writing "This CD is truly a record of Shawn’s 'mindset' at a given moment—mindset or whatever one wants to call the spark that sets things percolating as a composer sits down at the piano." 

Elizabeth Sherman
Elizabeth Sherman

Elizabeth Sherman, faculty emerita, offered a lecture called “Why Don’t Americans ‘Get’ Science?” with the Lamoille Valley Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Stowe, Vermont, last fall. 

Bennington Writing Seminars faculty member Taymour Soomro has been shortlisted for the 2023 McKitterick Prize for his novel Other Names for Love. The prize is awarded annually to an author over the age of 40 for a first novel. 

Visiting faculty member Maboula Soumahoro has joined scholars from around the world for a year-long fellowship at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris starting this fall. In addition, she joined NPR's The World to discuss the riots in France and problems stemming from racism. 

Anne Thompson, faculty member and Director and Curator of the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery, has been published in the Brooklyn Rail for her review of a David Smith show. Another publication in the catalog for Groundswell: Women of Land Art, which opened in September at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, is forthcoming. As part of the exhibition's opening, Thompson joined Bennington alumni Patricia Johnson '62 in conversation on Sunday, September 24, at her public sculpture at Fair Park Lagoon in Dallas.

Michael Wimberly
Michael Wimberly

Visiting faculty member Oliver Wadsworth performed as Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream at The Rep in Albany this spring.

Faculty member Emily Waterman coauthored “Diffusion effects of a sexual violence prevention program leveraging youth–adult partnerships” in the American Journal of Community Psychology in January 2023. Waterman and several students and alumni—including Hafsa Zulfiqar '22, McKennly McLain '23, Sergui Caivoi '24, and Taha Qadeer '25—published "The Link Between Intimate Partner Violence and Food Insecurity: A Review of Quantitative and Qualitative Studies" in the journal Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

Faculty member Michael Wimberly headlined the annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day held by the Greater Bennington Peace and Justice Center and Greater Bennington Interfaith Council.

The music video for "Elimination Dances" by the alternative rock band Protomartyr features guest artist Kota Yamazaki.

Faculty can submit Faculty Notes for inclusion in upcoming Faculty Notes articles at