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  • Bowdoi nM A G A Z I N E



    V O L . 8 4 N O . 1 F A L L 2 0 1 2



  • FALL 2012

    CONTENTSBowdoinM A G A Z I N E


    Bookshelf 3Mailbox 6Bowdoinsider 10Alumnotes 40

    Class News 41Weddings 78Obituaries 91Whispering Pines 124


    Ed Beem talks to Professors Klingle and Kolster about their collaborative multimedia project telling the story of the Androscoggin River through photographs, oral histories, archival research, video, and creative writing.

    24 Speaking the Language of Film

    An old tradition and a new curriculum combine to create an environment for film studies to flourish at Bowdoin.

    32 Working the Night Shift

    After careful research, many a long night brewing batches of beer, and with a last leap of faith, Rob Burns 07, Michael Oxton 07, and their business partner Mike OMara, have themselves a brewery.


  • 2 BOWDOIN FALL 2012

    Volume 84, Number 1Fall 2012


    EditorAlison M. Bennie

    Associate EditorMatthew J. ODonnell

    DesignCharles PollockJim LucasPennisi & Lamare - Portland, Maine

    ContributorsDouglas CookJames CatonJohn R. Cross 76Travis Dagenais 08Susan DanforthCecelia GreenleafScott W. HoodChele Ross 12Alix Roy 07

    Photographs byBrian Beard, Dennis Griggs, Bob Handelman, Pat Piasecki, Michele Stapleton, Brian Wedge 97, and Bowdoin College Archives.

    Cover photo by Brian Wedge 97.

    BOWDOIN (ISSN, 0895-2604) is published three times a year by Bowdoin College, 4104 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011. Printed by J.S. McCarthy, Augusta, Maine. Third-class postage paid at Augusta, Maine. Sent free of charge to all Bowdoin alumni/ae, parents of current and recent under-graduates, faculty and staff, seniors, and selected members of the Association of Bowdoin Friends.

    Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors.

    Send class news to or mail to the address above. Advertising inquiries? Please e-mail or fax 207-725-3003. Please send address changes to the mailing address above. Send ideas or letters to the editor to that address or by e-mail to

    | l e t t e r |


    Happy AccidentsI live in Topsham, on the bank of the Androscoggin River. Our property is a

    long and narrow lot that stretches from the road down the hill to our house,

    then further down the hill, through a low area that often floods when the tide is

    high, all the way to the water. When we moved to the house 14 years ago, we

    constructed a simple path over the muddy areas, so that we and our children

    who were small enough then to need adult help getting out of the mud if they got

    their rubber boots stuck could venture down to the water to boat, to play, and

    just to look.

    We knew about the rivers filthy and not-so-distant past, of course, and we were

    cautious about swimming or doing anything that would create contact with the

    toxins that everyone assumed lurked there. But it was beautiful, without a doubt.

    Usually, when we talk about unintended consequences, we mean incidental

    negatives that result from an action designed to do good. When the opposite

    occurs, we usually call that serendipity. I think about the unintended

    consequences of the environmental assault on the Androscoggin almost every

    time we boat there. As Macauley Lord 77 explains in the article in this issue

    about professors Matt Klingle and Mike Kolster and their collaborative work, the

    Androscoggin was actually protected in some ways by the horrors that it endured.

    By the time anyone wanted to live anywhere near it again, regulations were in

    place that kept development to a minimum. The effect, as Lord says, is of a little

    slice of wilderness that sits right next to downtown Brunswick.

    When I was a child, I spent a few years with my family living in Alaska. In

    the summer, we would take a floatplane to a cabin on Flathorn Lake, which

    was full of fish and practically empty of people. I dont know what Flathorn is

    like now but, amazingly, with its lack of houses and few boaters, being on the

    Androscoggin often reminds me of being there. Someday, I hope the fish will

    think so, too.

    When you read of their work, you will want to see and learn more. To do that,



    Bowdoin MAGAZINE

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    Drown by Junot Daz Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir

    Author Conan Doyle The Devils Teardrop by Jeffrey Deaver Your Yorkshire Terriers Life by Elaine

    Waldorf Gewirtz The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

    The River Why by David James Duncan When I Was a Child I Read Books by

    Marilynne Robinson Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost

    Knowledge of Where Food Comes from and Why We Need to Get It Back by Ann Vileisis

    A Fierce Discontent: The Rise and Fall of the Progressive Movement in America, 1870-1920 by Michael McGerr

    Rebirth of a Nation by Jackson Lears

    The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? by Francisco Goldman

    Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Fords Forgotten Jungle City by Greg Grandin

    Histories of Race and Racism: The Andes and Mesoamerica from Colonial Times to the Present edited by Laura Gotkowitz

    Reckoning: The Ends of War in Guatemala by Diane M. Nelson

    The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vsquez

    Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

    All Kinds of People Make Me Smile by Jonathan Ross-Wiley 95. JRW, 2012.

    Cancer Slam by Ansley M. Dauenhauer 90. Three Towers Press, 2012.

    The Charity by Connie Johnson Hambley (spouse 77), a novel featuring a Bowdoin alumna. Charylar Press, 2012.

    Detours: Book 1 by Henry S. Maxfield 45. Southwick House, 2012.

    The Devils Whore, edited by Jennifer Hockenbery Dragseth 93. Fortress Press, 2011

    Early Wings Over Maine by J.D. Davis 52. Potts Point Books, 2011.

    Ex-Boyfriend on Aisle 6: Stories by Susan Jackson Rodgers 82. Press 53, 2012.

    Good Bones, Great Pieces: The Seven Essential Pieces That Will Cary You Through A Lifetime by Laruen A. McGrath

    07 and Suzanne McGrath P07. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012.

    Growing Stories from India: Religion and the Fate of Agriculture by Whitney Sanford 83. The University Press of Kentucky, 2011.

    Hello Nature: William Wegman Exhibition Catalogue. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 2012.

    Jake Dellahunt: Vineyard Lawyer by AJ Cushner 57. Martin Sisters Publishing, LLC, 2012.

    A Maine Prodigy: The Life & Adventures of Elise Fellows White by Houghton McLellan White 58. Maine Historical Society, 2012.

    Men Beware Women by Gwen Thompson 92. Miami University Press, 2012.

    One for the Road by David J. Mather 68. Peace Corp Writers, 2011.

  • The massacre at Tiananmen Square has been written about extensively in terms of its global political ramifications, but Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square (Temple University Press, 2012) by Bowdoin Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and English Belinda Kong is the first book to look at its literary effects. Kong spotlights four key Chinese authors whose writings as outsiders inform their work and reveal how diaspora writers continually reimagine Tiananmens relevance in a post-1989 world, where China has emerged as a major global power.

    Bowdoin: How do these fictionalized accounts bring us any closer to understanding the real story behind Tiananmen?

    Kong: The four Tiananmen fictions I look at do not function primarily as correctives to mythologies that cloak the actual massacre. Most of these authorsdo not write from a position of empirical information. Indeed, some of them deliberately stay away from this position of factual knowledge and focus instead on the partialness of their knowledge. But thats not to say these works are therefore less valuable on the contrary, I see them as of primary importance for our understanding of what constitutes Chinese diasporic literature in the last twenty years, how that literature has evolved, and how that literature mediates worldwide knowledge about China.

    Bowdoin: But of course, there is the fact that, due to censorship, they must publish their works from exile, where they then become diasporic writers.

    BK: Well, the matter of censorship is not so cut and dried since some writers do write about Tiananmen and then return to China, while others

    write about it only after theyve been abroad for a while. Its not that mainland writers cant write about Tiananmen several do but they have to disguise their references to the massacre with various evasive strategies to circumvent the censors. Still, the main point

    remains that the open critique of state violence can only be published abroad.

    Bowdoin: What is your hope for this book?

    BK: When I started the project a decade ago there were fewer than two dozen native Chinese authors writing Tiananmen fictions. Now there is a growing corpus. I hope this book will allow people who work on China to realize how crucial a function diaspora writers can play in shaping global understanding of Chinese history.

    A longer version of this interview can be found online at