The Alumni College features panel discussions and lectures by faculty members and alumni on cutting-edge scholarship, Carleton initiatives, and other timely issues.

During Reunion weekend, Alumni College lectures delve into Carleton’s history and explore Carleton’s future as a leader in the liberal arts. Below are this year’s presentations. Several sessions are featured on the Reunion 2018 Videos page.

Reunion 2018 Alumni College Presentations

Alumni College: My Adventures in the Craft of Writing at Carleton, presented by novelist Jane Hamilton ’79.
In this presentation, novelist Jane Hamilton ’79 will reflect on what she learned from Owen Jenkins, Jim McDonnell, Keith Harrison, and others during her time at Carleton for the writing and teaching life.

Alumni College: Alumni Scientists Symposium, presented by a panel of alumni scientists and Associate Dean of the College Gretchen Hofmeister ’85.
Science at Carleton is about embracing vibrant, electric learning. Our students ask tough questions, research in the field, get their hands dirty, and solve problems. Carleton has a long and proud history of leadership in the sciences. Alumni scientists Yvonne Martin ’58, Stephen Bayne ’68, Anupam Kharbanda ’93, and Thomas Callister ’13 will reflect on their student experiences and how a Carleton education prepared them for their future careers. Associate Dean of the College Gretchen Hofmeister ’85 will conclude the discussion with a sneak peek of Carleton’s new, integrated science facility which is currently under construction.

Alumni College: Geothermal Under the Bald Spot, presented by Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability Martha Larson.
Martha Larson, Manager of Campus Energy and Sustainability, presents “Geothermal Under the Bald Spot? Utility Master Planning for the 21st Century.” When it was constructed in 1910, Carleton’s central utility plant incorporated the most current technologies of its time. One century later, the 2011 Climate Action Plan, 2012 Strategic Plan and 2014 Facilities Master Plan define goals and direction for decades of future campus growth and development. Combined with the need to address aging infrastructure, these plans present an opportunity to think creatively about the future of Carleton’s central utilities. This presentation will provide an overview of utility master planning strategies that explore an ambitious transition to forward-looking technologies such as low-temperature hot water, heat pumps, and geothermal and solar thermal systems.

Alumni College: Social Movements and Protest in the Digital Era, presented by Professor of Political Science Devashree Gupta.
While many people use social media in their daily lives, have you ever considered using it to spark a revolution? In this talk, Political Science professor Devashree Gupta will focus on the role that “Internet 2.0” — social media in particular — play in mobilizing activists and staging protests. Using examples, including the Arab Spring uprisings and the “hacktivism” of groups like Anonymous, she will map out some of the different ways in which the internet can play a role in protest, talk about ways in which this relationship between virtual activism and activism in the physical world is evolving, and identify some of the challenges that emerge when protest goes online, wholly or in part.

Alumni College: Revisiting Carleton Miscellany, presented by Professor of English and Environmental Studies Michael Kowalewski and Keith Harrison, Professor of English & Writer in Residence Emeritus and the last editor of the Miscellany.
The Carleton Miscellany was a nationally acclaimed literary quarterly published at Carleton from 1960-1980. Founded by the poet and Carleton English professor Reed Whittemore, it was modeled on a previous “little magazine” published at Carleton between 1949 and 1953 entitled Furioso. Gordon Lish, former fiction editor of Esquire, once called the Miscellany“ one of the best literary magazines in the country.” The magazine featured the work of at least a dozen Pulitzer Prize winning authors, as well as that of Carleton faculty such as Owen Jenkins, John Lucas, David Porter, Don Schier, Harriet Sheridan, George Soule, and Gary Iseminger. In its heyday in the sixties and early seventies, the Miscellany was known for high-quality literary work and its mischievous sense of humor. 

Alumni College: Two Historians Walk into a Digitally Reconstructed Bar, presented by history and digital humanities research assistant Lydia Symchych ’18.
In this presentation, Lydia Symchych ’18 will discuss “Witness to the Revolution,” an immersive, interactive 3d experience of the 1770 Boston Massacre created by Carleton students, Austin Mason, historian and assistant director of digital humanities, and history professor Serena Zabin, in partnership with the Boston Old State House. Based on original historical research, the game allows players to digitally experience the eighteenth-century city while exploring the hard problems of settling on a singular truth about the past. Founded in 2013, Carleton’s Digital Humanities program supports cutting-edge classroom experimentation and innovative computer-enhanced research by helping humanities faculty to integrate digital technologies into their research and teaching and by training students to learn digital methodologies relevant to their humanities studies and future careers.

Alumni College: Mapping and Marking the Arb, presented by Cartographer Nat Case ’88 and Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum Nancy Braker ’81.
Over the last few years, cartographer Nat Case ’88 has worked with Nancy Braker ’81, Puzak Family Director of the Cowling Arboretum, to develop a new map and interpretive signs that explore the history of the Arb, the ecosystems it supports, and a variety of larger themes that intersect here. We’ll talk about the process of making the maps and signs, and share some of the most interesting things we’ve uncovered. Copies of the map will be available.

Alumni College: My Favorite Course and Why, presented by emeriti faculty members David Appleyard ’61, Perry Mason, Rich Noer, and Nancy Wilkie.
Hear favorite emeriti faculty members reminisce on what they most loved about being in the Carleton classroom.