Sergei Eisenstein’s unfinished masterpiece, Ivan the Terrible, was no ordinary movie. Commissioned by Joseph Stalin in 1941 to justify state terror in the 16th and 20th centuries, the film’s politics, style, and epic scope aroused controversy even before it was released. In This Thing of Darkness: Eisenstein’s Ivan the Terrible in Stalin’s Russia (Cornell University Press, 2019), Joan Neuberger ’75 offers a sweeping account of the conception, making, and reception of Ivan the Terrible that weaves together Eisenstein's expansive thinking and experimental practice with a groundbreaking new view of artistic production under Stalin. Neuberger is a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin.
Artists & Scholars
In Ungentle Goodnights (Naval Institute Press, 2018), Christopher McKee uses the records of the U.S. Naval Asylum (later the U.S. Naval Home), a residence for disabled and elderly sailors and Marines established by the U.S. government, to recover the lives of the 541 men who were admitted there as lifetime residents between 1831 and 1866. McKee, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor Emeritus, seeks to discover the life experiences of real Marines and naval sailors, not a few of whom were misbehaving, crafty, and engaging individuals who feature prominently in the book.
Bobbie McKibbin, professor emerita of art, was invited to participate in an inaugural event for Yellowstone Forever. The first Yellowstone Plein Air Invitational took place Sept. 26–30, 2018, and celebrated the current and historical presence of art in Yellowstone. Fourteen of the nation’s best artists painted en plein air (outside on-site) for four days in various locations throughout Yellowstone National Park. Park visitors had the opportunity to attend daily painting demonstrations and a paint-out that gathered all artists to paint in one location Sept. 29. Peter Hassrick, a writer and independent American art scholar who focuses on the West, selected one of McKibbin’s works produced during this event for recognition.
Ric MacDowell ’68 has a photography exhibition from November 2018 through January 2019 at Taylor Books Gallery in Charleston, West Virginia. 1968 to 1976: A Vanished Time reflects on the inner strength and character of people who were MacDowell’s neighbors and friends during that time. Immediately after graduating from Grinnell in 1968, MacDowell went to rural West Virginia as a volunteer for Service to America. Except for a brief time, he has lived in rural West Virginia ever since. His exhibition focuses on three rural communities where MacDowell lived and worked during a time when people were changing from outhouses to indoor toilets and getting telephones. The influence of Walmarts, interstates, and TV was poised to redefine the values and culture of the area. “Sherm’s Barn,” one of the photographs in the exhibition, is in the College’s permanent collection.
Ella Williams ’18, aka Squirrel Flower, has been writing and performing songs since she was a child. By 9 she was touring internationally with the Boston Children’s Chorus. By 14 she was writing more seriously and released her first EP under her own name. Contact Sports is a collection of songs about relationships, intimacy, dependency, betrayal, and place set to the unique backdrop of the American Midwest. Listen at squirrelflower.bandcamp.com.
Ann-Janine Morey ’73 had a photography exhibit at the Wilson Downtown Gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia, Aug. 3–Sept. 28, 2018. Defy the Machine paired photographs of horses, the original anti-machine, with photos from political events by a colleague and other images that suggest resistance.Morey is the founder and owner of Free Spirit Photography LLC, specializing in documenting equine therapies, horses, and anything else that catches her eye.
Seth Hanson ’17 has released his first album, Not Too Deep, which is largely about his experiences living in and eventually leaving Grinnell. The album is available for download from Bandcamp at theadditionalsix.bandcamp.com.
In many American cities, the urban cores still suffer. Poverty and unemployment remain endemic, despite policy initiatives aimed at systemic solutions. In her first book, Collaborative Capitalism in American Cities: Reforming Urban Market Regulations (Cambridge University Press, 2018), Rashmi Dyal-Chand ’91 has focused on how businesses in some urban cores are succeeding despite the challenges. Dyal-Chand is a professor of law in the School of Law at Northeastern University.
In Kicking Center: Gender and the Selling of Women’s Professional Soccer (Rutgers University Press, 2018), Rachel Allison ’07 investigates a women’s soccer league seeking to break into the male-dominated center of U.S. professional sport. Allison details the complex constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the selling and marketing of women’s soccer in a half-changed sports landscape characterized by both progress and backlash, and where professional sports are still understood to be men’s territory. Allison is an assistant professor of sociology and faculty affiliate of gender studies at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
Dr. Mick Perez-Cruet ’83 has published a textbook, An Anatomical Approach to Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, second edition (Thieme Publishers, 2018). Perez-Cruet is vice chairman, director, and professor of the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Spine Program at the William Beaumont School of Medicine, Oakland University, in Auburn Hills, Michigan.