Gould Center

Visiting Fellows & Speakers


August Kleinzahler
August Kleinzahler

Poet August Kleinzahler Reads from Hotel Oneira
Thursday, September 19
6:45 PM
Parents Dining Room
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Please join us to hear August Kleinzahler read from his new book of poems, The Hotel Oneira. From Publisher's Weekly: "“Kleinzahler’s first since his new-and-selected Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (2008) finds the peripatetic, polymathic, and sometimes dyspeptic poet in terrific form . . . What stays, and what ought to impress any reader, are the range and the command that Kleinzahler has over so many flavors and kinds of American English.”

For his own part, Kleinzahler doesn’t like to call himself a poet. He says “most poets are shiftless, no-account fools.” Yet he has been very successful avoiding this stereotype; his work has been described by The New York Times as “a modernist swirl of sex, surrealism, urban life and melancholy with a jazzy beat.”

Kleinzahler was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1949, and raised in Fort Lee, New Jersey. After graduating from the University of Victoria, he wrote a music column for the San Diego Reader before starting his career as an author, essayist, and poet. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including: The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (2004), winner of the International Griffin Poetry Prize; Live from the Hong Kong Nile Club: Poems: 1975-1990 (2000); Green Sees Things in Waves (1999); and Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow (1995). He is also the author of the meditative memoir Cutty, One Rock: Low Characters and Strange Places, Gently Explained (2004).

His reputation as a divisive, opinionated figure was confirmed in 2004 when he wrote a scathing response to Garrison Keillor’s poetic taste on his NPR segment in Poetry Magazine. He critiqued Keillor for his persistent selection of only “anecdotal” and “wistful” poems.

Kleinzahler’s honors include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lila Acheson-Reader’s Digest Award for Poetry, an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Griffin International Poetry Prize, and the post of poet laureate in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Kleinzahler is a Gould Center Visiting Fellow and Guest Lecturer.


Sterling Lord
Sterling Lord

In 1952 Sterling Lord founded his distinguished literary agency, Sterling Lord Literistic. As co-chairman, Lord has been representing authors for more than sixty years and continues to accept new clients. His authors over the years have included Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Dick Francis, David Wise, Frank Deford, Tony Summers, Jimmy Breslin, Gloria Naylor, Bill Nack, and Howard Fast. He has represented four United States Cabinet members and Judge John Sirica, as well as one of the largest selling college textbooks on American government, Democracy Under Pressure. In the area of children’s books, Lord represents the Berenstain family, whose Berenstain Bears books have sold over 300 million copies in the United States and Canada alone. According to Publishers Weekly, Sterling’s own memoir, Lord of Publishing (2013), is “one of the great publishing memoirs of the modern era.”


Jim Fadiman
James Fadiman

“The Psychedelic Renaissance: Promise and Pitfalls”
Wednesday, October 9
6:45 PM
Security Pacific Dining Room
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Jim Fadiman is a prominent figure in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology. He has a B.A. in Social Relations from Harvard and both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University. He has been involved in teaching and facilitating creative problem-solving with and without psychedelics for more than three decades.

His experience ranges from early experimentation with Ram Dass and Timothy Leary at Harvard to government-sanctioned legal research with Myron Stolaroff and Willis Harman at Stanford. He was a Research Associate with the International Foundation for Advanced Study in the late 1960s and later served as president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences. In 1975 with Robert Frager, he co-founded the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He is the author of numerous books, including Essential Sufism (1997) and Personality and Personality Growth (1998), both with Bob Frager, The Other Side of Haight (2001), and most recently The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys (2011).


Dorothy Fadiman
Dorothy Fadiman

"When a Filmmaker's Vision Catches Fire"
Thursday, October 10
6:45 PM
Security Pacific Dining Room
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Dorothy Fadiman has been producing award-winning social change media since 1976. Her honors include an Oscar nomination and an Emmy. Her subjects focus on social justice and human rights and range from the light of Spirit in every faith (Radiance: The Experience of Light) to progressive education that honors children's natural knowing (Why Do these Kids Love School?) to the extraordinary healing journey of a woman with a spinal cord injury (Moment by Moment: The Healing Journey of Molly Hale). She has produced several series, including a trilogy on abortion rights (From the Back-Alleys to the Supreme Court) — and a five-part series on AIDS in Africa (Seeds of Hope). Her most recent film is Stealing America: Vote by Vote, which examines the integrity of a decade of U.S. elections. Future projects include a documentary focusing on the disenfranchisement of Native American voters. Producing with Passion follows her career and offers specific suggestions, based on what she has learned, for independent filmmakers to use in their work as they find their unique voices through filmmaking

Workshop: Distilling Your Vision

A look at how to move your original spark of an idea for a film into a completed documentary project.

Thursday, October 10
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Each of us carries a wealth of ideas about a possible film project. Some of these will slip away, some struggle to be chosen and vie for your attention… and when the time is right, and you are ready, one will emerge and become “your vision.” How do you bring this vision into form?

In this workshop we will look at how, as your vision evolves, you can meet a succession of challenges. We will review ways to determine and juggle priorities, ways to surmount common obstacles, and above all, how to keep YOUR own vision intact throughout the process. As we work together, I will show clips from one of my films and share with you how I met my own challenges at each step along the way.

Interested students should contact Professor Robert Faggen.


Meg McLagan and Lynn Novick
Meg McLagan and Lynn Novick

Fall 2013 Seminar
Documentary and History: War, Memory and Trauma

October 14 - November 11, 2013

This intensive five-week seminar considers the relationship between history and the documentary form, focusing in particular on films that deal with issue of war, memory, and trauma. As film scholar Bill Nichols points out, documentary film “is a form of visual historiography. Its combination of representations of the world and representations about the world, of evidence and argument, give it the same ambivalent status that the word “history” also enjoys: history is at once the living trajectory of social events as they occur and the written discourse that speaks about these events.” (Nichols 1991: 177). The course addresses documentary’s ambivalent status vis a vis different modalities and traditions of nonfiction filmmaking, from the expository to observational to poetic, and in so doing raises questions about the representation of suffering, the conceptualization of history, and uses of the medium to evoke and encode firsthand accounts of the past. In addition, students will analyze the complex relationships that are put into play between films’ subjects and their makers and the underlying presumption of authenticity that we as viewers collectively extend to documentary, within which lies the essential appeal of the form itself.

McLagan and Novick are documentary filmmakers themselves, and in addition to screening works by filmmakers such as Marcel Ophuls, Claude Lanzmann, Jean Rouch, Kazuo Hara, Ari Folman, and Renee Tajiri, they will screen and discuss some of their own recent projects, including a film on women combatants in the Iraq War, the American experience of the Second World War, and excerpts from Novick’s upcoming fourteen hour series on the history of the Vietnam War.

Those interested in taking the course should sign up with the CMC Registrar.

Emmy and Peabody award winning filmmaker Lynn Novick has been making acclaimed documentaries about American history for more than twenty years. Since the late 1990s, she has been a directing/producing collaborator of Ken Burns. She is currently directing/producing, with Burns, a 14 hour series for PBS on the history and meaning of the Vietnam War, slated for broadcast in 2016.

Meg McLagan is an independent filmmaker and cultural anthropologist based in New York City. Her most recent film, Lioness, tells the story of a group of women who were sent into direct ground combat in Iraq as part of an unofficial U.S. Army program. The film won the Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and was aired on the PBS series Independent Lens. She writes about media, architectures of activism, and the documentary form and is coeditor of Sensible Politics: The Visual Culture of Nongovernmental Activism (Zone Books, 2012). She currently teaches at Columbia University.


Eric Karpeles
Eric Karpeles

“Was Proust Convinced? Art and the Power of Redemption”
Tuesday, October 15
6:45 PM
Security Pacific Dining Room
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Proust at 100: Gould Special Seminar
Swann at 100
September 25 - October 30, 2013

This 6-week seminar presented by the Gould Center will be based upon the careful reading of a single novel, Swann's Way, the first volume of In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust's monumental magnum opus which was first published at the author's expense in 1913, one hundred years ago. The course will provide a background on Proust, the world he looked back upon and the one he lived in at the turn of the twentieth century at the center of the Parisian crucible we now call modernism. The influences of painting, music and writing upon Proust, the grounding of his philosophical work based upon extensive reading, and the complex passions of the man himself all coalesced in 1909 as he began to focus upon creating what was to become a seminal text of world literature. The reading text used will be the 2003 Lydia Davis translation and the class will attempt to pace the reading of the novel with ample room for careful consideration and absorption as well as a growing awareness of the rare privilege of encountering not just a book, but a work of art devoted to its own unlikely creation. Lectures will open each session on various aspects of Proust's life and work. One session will include a screening of Percy Adlon's film Céleste, which presents the great writer through the vantage point of his beloved housekeeper.

Those interested in taking the course should sign up with the CMC Registrar.

Eric Karpeles is a writer, translator and painter. He studied at Haverford College, Oxford University, and The New School/Parsons School of Design. As a writer, his subject is the intersection of images and words, the confluence of the visual and the literary. His book, Paintings in Proust has been translated into many languages (including Greek and Korean). It was cited as a “book of the year” by The New York Times, The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal, and the French edition was cited for excellence by Le Monde Livres. His translation of Proust’s Overcoat from the Italian appeared in 2010. His critical essays have been published in The New York Times and literary journals such as Brick, The New England Review and the Italian journal Paragone.

As a painter, Karpeles’s commissioned work includes the permanent installation of The Laurance and Mary Rockefeller Chapel (1995-96) at the HealthCare Chaplaincy, a multi-faith spiritual healing center in New York City, and Driving to the Interior (1999), a painting tribute to Elizabeth Bishop that was unveiled in Ouro Preto, Brazil, where the poet spent more than twenty years. The Sanctuary (1989-92), a thirty-by-fifty foot painted room dedicated at the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic as an open space for grieving and the contemplation of loss, traveled across the United States and was installed for its final three-month-long exhibition within New York’s Grand Central Terminal. In 2009, he was asked to fabricate a book of mathematical equations and Hebrew references to be used as a prop for “A Serious Man,” a film by Joel and Ethan Coen.


Robert Wagner
Robert Wagner

"Moby Dick and the Mythology of Oil"
Thursday, October 31
6:45 PM
Parents Dining Room
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

After forty years as a New York investment banker, focusing on the oil and gas business of Texas, Bob Wagner earned a PhD in Mythological Studies from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara in 2008. He also has an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of New York University and a BA in History from Holy Cross.

He is the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ and the Mythology of Oil, wherein Melville’s classic is used as a mythological representation of the hydrocarbon-based, economic society that is the Judeo-Christian West, a world that is fully embedded with petroleum as its defining commodity. The book presents a compelling allegory of the journey of Ahab and the men of the Pequod in search of an enormously powerful white whale, seen to personify the natural forces of the earth, as representative of our modern society’s pursuit and exploitation of planetary resources.


Mary Gaitskill
Mary Gaitskill

"An Evening with the Author"
Tuesday, April 15
6:45 PM
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Mary Gaitskill is "among the most eloquent and perceptive of contemporary fiction writers." (The New York Times) The author of the novels Two Girls, Fat and Thin and Veronica, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2005, as well as the story collections Don’t Cry, Bad Behavior, and Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998, Gaitskill has been praised for "reaching deep into what she calls…‘the trapdoors in personality and obsession,’ and pulling what she finds there back out into the world. Past, present, future; heartbreak, desire, and loss—none of it is quite beyond her.” (Village Voice) Her story “Secretary” was the basis for the feature film of the same name. The film received the Special Jury Prize and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. One of her most controversial essays, "On Not Being a Victim," appeared in Harper's. In 2002 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction; in 2010 she received a New York Public Library Cullman Center research grant. She has taught at U-C Berkeley, the University of Houston, New York University, The New School, Brown and Syracuse University; last year she was the Writer-In-Residence at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is at present teaching in the Department of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.


Paul Schimmel
Paul Schimmel

"New Directions in Contemporary Art"
Thursday, April 17
12:00 PM
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

The New York Times calls Paul Schimmel "one of the most respected authorities on postwar Los Angeles art". He is Vice President and Partner at international contemporary art gallery Hauser & Wirth’s forthcoming Los Angeles venture, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. Previously, he served as Chief Curator of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles from 1990 to 2012, where he soon made his name for championing important L.A. artists such as Paul McCarthy, Chris Burden, Mike Kelley and Charles Ray and taking on big, sweeping themes in contemporary art. His ambitious, generation-defining surveys for MOCA include the 1998 performance-art extravaganza "Out of Actions," the 2005 altered-states show "Ecstasy" and the 2011 survey of the 1970s Californian art diaspora, "Under the Big Black Sun." Prior to MOCA, he served as Chief Curator of the Newport Harbor Art Museum in Newport Beach, CA from 1981-89, as well as Curator (1975-77) and Senior Curator (1977-78) of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in Houston, TX.

Schimmel has been the recipient of numerous awards, including two from the Association of Art Museum Curators, six from the International Association of Art Critics and the Award for Curatorial Excellence given by The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College (2001). Schimmel has organized major one-person retrospectives for artists Willem de Kooning, Takashi Murakami, Laura Owens, Sigmar Polke, and Robert Rauschenberg. Additional significant thematic exhibitions include The Interpretive Link: Abstract Surrealism into Abstract Expressionism: Works on Paper, 1938-1948 (1987); The Figurative Fifties: New York Figurative Expressionism (1988); Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition 1955–62 (1992); Helter Skelter: LA Art in the 1990s (1992); Collection: MOCA’s First 30 Years (2010); and Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962 (2012). He most recently curated an exhibition of the diverse postwar collection of German gallerist and collector Reinhard Onnasch entitled, Re-View: Onnasch Collection, shown in Hauser & Wirth’s London and New York galleries (2013-2014).

Schimmel has served as a National Endowment for the Arts panelist and was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House (2010-2012). He has also served as a Co-Director and Chairman of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts (2012-2013), and in 2012 received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute.


Mary Weatherford
Mary Weatherford

"The Artist Discusses Her Work"
Monday, April 21
6:45 PM (5:30 dinner and reception)
Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Acclaimed Los Angeles artist Mary Weatherford's lively, color-washed paintings with affixed neon lighting have changed the landscape of contemporary art.

Among the leading practitioners of a style rooted in color field and abstract expressionism, the L.A.-based artist has enjoyed much critical success with exhibits staged in the United States and abroad. Her recent series was inspired by the life and history of Bakersfield, California, and the paintings exhibited by LAX/Art. Her paintings will also be part of a major exhibition of contemporary artists that will open this coming December at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A show of her paintings opens Saturday, April 19 at the prestigious David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. http://davidkordanskygallery.com/

For critics, Weatherford creates more than pictures: They regard her mixed-media works as nothing less than “a chemistry of the visual.” This spring, Weatherford will offer an intimate glimpse into the processes of her unique visual chemistry during a visit to Claremont McKenna College (as a Visiting Fellow of the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies), where she is creating a large, site-specific painting.

Among her solo exhibitions garnering critical acclaim over the years are “Manhattan” at Brennan & Griffin, New York (2012), “The Cave” at John Tevis Gallery, Paris (2010), and “Brick Walls and Sealife” at Cottage Home, Los Angeles (2008). Though her paintings are linked to particular places and locales, what her canvases record are emotional responses—“psychogeographies,”one critic calls them—that employ moody color palettes (heightened by the use of neon lighting), unusual textures and objects that have become a part of her signature style.

Born in Ojai, Calif., Weatherford graduated from Princeton University in Art History/Visual Arts, was a Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program and earned her MFA from Bard College.

Mary Weatherford

Mary Weatherford - Spring 2014 Painting Seminar
April 4 - May 1

The multifaceted course will explore the observation and practice of contemporary painting. Weatherford has chosen to focus on the work of her late mentor, Mike Kelley, one of the world’s most influential contemporary artists and the subject of a major exhibit that opened March 31 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In addition to three campus seminars and a lecture, Weatherford will also bring students to study at her studio in Los Angeles, and on a private tour of the Kelley exhibit at MoCA.

In addition to her painting seminar this spring, CMC will welcome Weatherford back to campus this fall as a 2014 Gould Center/Podlich Distinguished Fellow. As part of her time here, Weatherford will install a new, large scale, site-specific painting with neon in the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

Also in the fall, the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies will publish the first major book on Weatherford’s work, documenting her neon paintings and giving an overview of her 25-year career.

Among the leading practitioners of a style rooted in abstract expressionism, the L.A.-based artist has enjoyed much critical success with exhibits staged in the United States and abroad. Her recent series was inspired by the life and history of Bakersfield, California, and the paintings exhibited by LAX/Art. Her paintings will also be part of a major exhibition of contemporary artists that will open this coming December at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A show of her paintings opens Saturday, April 19 at the prestigious David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles.


Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead
Mike Kelley

"Three-Part Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion of Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead"
Sunday, May 4
Mary Pickford Auditorium

Mike Kelley (1954-2012) was born in Detroit, Michigan. He received a BFA from the University of Michigan, and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Kelley’s work ranges from highly symbolic and ritualistic performance pieces to arrangements of stuffed-animal sculptures, to wall-size drawings, to multi-room installations that restage institutional environments (schools, offices, zoos), to extended collaborations with artists such as Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, and the band Sonic Youth. His work questions the legitimacy of “normative” values and systems of authority, and attacks the sanctity of cultural attitudes toward family, religion, sexuality, art history, and education.

Mike Kelley received the Skowhegan Medal in Mixed Media, and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Major solo exhibitions include Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Tate Liverpool; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Kunsthalle, Basel; among others.