Caribou sighting outside the Johnson Theatre

December 13, 2012
steel and epoxy caribou sculpture

Wendy Klemperer, Caribou (Ihumataq), 2009, steel, epoxy, 138″ x 106″ x 80, photo by Lisa Nugent

Sure, caribou disappeared from NH about 150 years ago, but this one’s made of steel. Created by artist Wendy Klemperer, the caribou will be on exhibit through May of 2014. Currently outside the Johnson Theatre, in August of next year it will move to Mills Courtyard on the other side of the arts center where it will remain for a year as the second sculpture exhibition in the courtyard. The inaugural exhibition is on view now through May 2013 and features alumnus Gary Haven Smith’s carved granite sculptures.

“2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program,” notes Museum of Art Director Kristina Durocher. “As a member of that first graduating class, Gary Haven Smith was a natural choice for the inaugural exhibition of public art in the Mills Courtyard of the Paul Creative Arts Center.” His carved granite sculptures will be on view through May 2013.

When Durocher began planning for the second sculpture exhibition, she contacted Wendy Klemperer who offered the caribou. The sculpture happened to be migrating from Maine to Klemperer’s home in New Hampshire.

The timing seemed right to arrange a loan for the work,” says Durocher. “The Friends of the Museum with funding from the Department of Art and Art History helped defray the installation costs. Public art should be an integral part of the UNH community—it enriches our experiences and ignites the imagination. I hope to bring more public art to campus.”

Wendy Klemperer’s work has been exhibited extensively in NYC and throughout the United States. Her large scale permanent installations include Portland International Jetport, ME; 560 Broadway in NYC; Lay Sculpture Park in Missouri; Somersby Landing Sculpture Park in Newburyport, MA; California State University, Bakersfield; Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay; the LL Bean Company, Freeport, Maine; and SIAS University, Xinzheng, China. To learn more, visit

Researching a literature of puzzles and puns

December 7, 2012

Rachel Trubowitz

Excerpted from a profile by Lucy Hitz on the UNH Research website.

Ask English Professor Rachel Trubowitz why she decided to devote her life to 17th-century English literature and she’ll give you the answer people who’ve found their life’s calling generally do: “It just clicked.”

This phrasing is especially apropos in Trubowitz’s case, however, because the desire to discover how pieces connect is at the root of her many accomplishments: “It’s a period of literature in which there are a lot of intellectual puzzles. This particular kind of poetry is filled with clues and hidden meanings and puns. I find it challenging and fun and endlessly fascinating. There are so many encodings and encryptions. You have to work to open it up. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but when it finally falls into place, it’s so rewarding.”

When asked what advice she has for students trying to carve a niche out for themselves in the academic world, Trubowitz acknowledges the highly competitive environment but contends that the main thing is “to find a problem or question that is totally intriguing to you—if it’s fascinating enough to you, you will be able to communicate its importance to a wider group.”

Trubowitz gives the example of a former student from a working class background, the first in his family to attend college. With Trubowitz’s encouragement (“You have to go to graduate school! You’re it!”), he went on to get his master’s and Ph.D. degrees. His dissertation on how theatrical work is represented in Shakespeare’s plays combined his fascination with how work is portrayed in literature and his interest in theater. He went on to become a professor at William Patterson University, and is one of Trubowitz’s many success stories. She says, “He worked really hard and put his own stamp on it. We’re all working out our questions.”

Read full story.

Professor Elected American Folklore Society Fellow

December 5, 2012

Burt Feintuch

Burt Feintuch, professor of English and director of the University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities, has been elected to the Fellows of the American Folklore Society.

The Fellows is an honorary body that recognizes outstanding achievement in folklore studies. Founded in 1888 in Cambridge, Mass., the society is an association of people who study and communicate knowledge about folklore throughout the world. Feintuch was formally recognized for this honor at the American Folklore Society annual meeting in New Orleans in October.

“Like many folklorists, I start with the assumption that every community shapes deeply felt values and strongly held convictions into aesthetic form. Folklorists study those ‘collective exercises in creative meaning-making.’ Much of what humans are, much of what we think of ourselves, and many of the ways in which we live together can be illuminated by the study of folklore, and ultimately my goal is to have students see the world as a remarkably diverse place, enlivened and illuminated by the traditions and practices we study,” Feintuch said.

Read the full story by Lori Wright in Campus Journal


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