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Features FSU purchases Ringling Museum -page2 Admission ratings -page3 Features News of the World -page 6 Negativland -pages 7 & 8 VolumeXI, Issue 12 a dedication to the old regime May 17, 2000 Farewell to an era: Professors Deme and Berggren retire Professor Douglas Berggren Professor Laszlo Deme: and the heroic days On the side of the angels by Heather Whitmore Professor of philosophy Doug Berggren s arrival in 1964 marked the beginning of New College's ven ture to integrate radical education and academic excellence. Now, over 35 years later, Berggren s retirement is being met by an avalanche of aca demic and administrative upheavals on the New Coll e ge c a mpu s, mark ing a t ra n s ition from the o l d re g im e to th e n ew Fo r f a c u lty th e exit of B e r ggr en mea ns l osing a cri ti cal vo ic e i n edu c ational experimentation and quality For students, life at New outs of post-modernism. Yet, with the promise of a new philosophy professor in the fall and Berggren's commitment to remain an academic presence at New College, the post Berggren years don't appear so bleak. Berggren's retirement announce ment at the close of fall 1999 didn't come as surprise to most of the cam pus. Sitting with crossed legs and both hands firmly gripping a New College mug of coffee, Berggren ex plained his reasons for leaving New College in a horne interview with the Catalyst. "I'm in good health and in good spirits," remarked Berggren in denouncement of the role his in stances of ill health over the past five years played in the decision. Like other retiring professors, Berggren's retirement was spurred in part by a desire to write. I haven't been able to teach and write at the same time," he explained. Continuing hi s work in many of f i elds he curr e ntly teaches, Berggren s plans to research and write on topics such as the infamous Janus Paradox, radical education, and notions of tensional thinking or "funky logic." He also plans to pur sue is ues in continental philo ophy provoked by Anglo-American thought and Philosopher Richard Rorty. Professor Douglas Berggren points to a picture of himself that was taken in the 1960's. Photo taken by Heather Whitmore But in a thoughtful voice, he ex pressed something deeper behind his need to leave New College, "Part is to write, and part is the sense of frus tration in teaching ... you get the students to a certain point and then they go off to graduate school." He went on to compare his time as an undergraduate professor of philoso phy to the myth of Sisyphus. With each new class and each graduating class he must begin the same cycle of awaking college minds, like old Sisyphus forever pushing the same stone. Whil e he is read y to stop teach ing, he s not ready to leave New College. I may sit in on thi s or that class. I m going to stay h ere .. Aron and I have thought of having stu dents over to the house. l don t see myself breaking with the college and doing my own thing." With his creative hand in the de velopment of the contract system and the core structure of the Humanities division, it's difficult to 'SEE ON PAGE 4 by Ryan McCormick Price, Esq. The road to higher education is never easy, but only for a select few is it paved with explosive antiper sonnel devices Such was the case with Dr. Laszlo Deme, New College's own Professor of European History, who will retire at the end of this year. The loss of Professor Deme comes at a time of great turmoil at New College as fac ulty members th a t h a ve ca rri e d New C ollege's banner since there was a banner to carry finally choose to ride off into the sunset. The absence of Professors Berggren and Deme, as members will be felt sharply by the school next year. New College shall carry on just as it has. For Dr. Laszlo Deme, however, this momentous transition from the educational pro fession into the world of scholarly research comes as the culmination of a sojourn that began with the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. It is no easy task to persuade Dr. Derne to talk about himself. While he will discourse without the slight est hesitation on any matter of De me own history. Photo taken by Heather Whitmore history, politics, or culture one might care to bring before him, he is hesi tant to, as he puts it, "toot his own horn." Once told, however, his story is compelling; a tale of dedication, courage, and devotion that has spanned half a century. Laszlo Deme was born in a small Hungarian village near the Austrian border, where he attended secondary school the g y mnasium ", b e fore going o ff t o th e p r es ti gious Un i versity of Budapest, where he studied Hungarian comparative liter ature from 1951 to 1955. After receiving his degree, he taught liter ature for a and two months ... chose to leave his native land. Under cover of night, he simply walked across the border and into liberty. The crossing wasn't too dif ficult, says Deme, save for a few small hazards. "There were still a few mines," Deme remembers, "and some border patrols with guard dogs. It was rather adventurous, I sup pose," Dr. Deme recalls with a grin. None of these obstructions were enough to stymie Deme's determina tion. But where was the young teacher to go? "I had an offer from the University at Bonn," he says, "and that was tempting because I already spoke German. But America offered more freedom, and after liv ing under Communist rule, freedom was ... and is ... the Supreme Good." So Laszlo Derne set forth and arrived in New York City, where he stayed at the International House while studying English at the American Language Ins ti tute of Columbia University Within a year, Deme had mas t er e d the language sufficiently well enough t o enroll in the history program at Columbia University, where he received his master 's de gree in 1 959 and later his doctorate. At this point Derne ought employ ment "to keep body and soul "DEME" ON PAGE 5
2 The Catalyst News May 17, 2000 Florida State University purchases the Ringling Museum The museum is to relocate to the state capital, Tallahassee by Michael Sanderson FSU now owns the Ringling Museum. In a plan hatched and executed by State Senator John McKay, R-Bradenton, the state legislature transferred control of the Ringling, the state art museum of Florida, to Florida State University effective July 1. The plan came as the Ringling continued to find itself in dire financial straits year after year. Attendance was lagging with no solution in sight, and the legislature had to allocate funds to make up for budget deficit. McKay, an FSU alum, came up with the idea to transfer the museum, which is in his district, to his alma matter. His clout in the legislature made it happen. McKay is the incoming President of the Senate, and will exert tremendous influence in the next ses sion. In a speech on May 5, he told his fellow legislators how important the change is to him. The amendment passed 114-1. The plan doesn't just switch administrations, but creates a "university center for the arts." Combined with the FSU center for the performing arts, the Asolo, the bill calls for "academic programs in theater, dance, art, art his tory, and museum management." The Ringling Museum already has a master plan, completed in December, but now totaJly up in the air. It includes an enlarged circus museum, an expansion of the museum to the North, a paring deck in front of the Asolo, a special events pavilion just south of the Ca'd'Zan, and an educational center that would, according to the HeraldTribune, just into Caples Fine Arts. FSU has committed to finishing the expansion of the circus museum. How much will stay the same remains to be seen. FSU can develop its properties without needing approval from the governor of cabinet, an open ended pro pect that has spawned strange rumors. Someone suggested that condos could appear on the property. "Condos-that's pretty preposterous," FSU President Sandy D' Alemberte told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "We are not developers. We operate some museums." Ringling director David Ebitz, who has since tendered a resignation ef fective the day of the transfer, suggested that the Ringling name be attached to art museums FSU operates in Tahallasee. Ebitz retired because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Contribution: Community Action Research Initiative (CARl) by Julie Morris, Environmental Studies Coordinator A new venture emerged out of last spring's Blueprint process called CARl, the Community Action Research Initiative. Led by Dr. David Brain and Dr. Keith Fitzgerald, CARl strives to link academic work at New College and USF-Sarasota with needs and organizations in the local com-Prof essors Brain and Fitzge r ald are joined b y Environme ntal Stud ies Coordinators Julie Morris and Jono Miller Hu m an Services Planning Association Director Tim Dutton, University of Illinois Professor of Sociology Emeritus Roland Liebert, and Project Coordinator Mandy Odom. CARl will be the location for collaborative community-based research driven by a dialogue between the University and local citizens. This will allow students to design their education around pragmatic and socially engaged research. CARl will facilitate the integration of community project-oriented learning into the curriculum and encourage student and fac ulty participation in projects. The overall goal of CARl will be to enhance both local civic culture and the education of our students. This spring CARl awarded grants to four New College faculty and two USF faculty to develop both new courses and modules for existing courses that use local community projects. CARl received a $14,900 grant from the USF University Community Initiative this month. The grant will fund the North Sarasota Community Asset Mapping Project, set to begin this summer. The geographic focus of the project will be the historically African American catalyst community of Newtown. The work will involve identifying and describing the resources of Newtown and working to mobilize the capacities of the com munity itself. Resource data will be compiled using GIS (Geographic Information System) and made available via the internet, in printed reports, and in community workshops. u e s ave. .een ire t o wor t i s umniet:' on h e asset mapping p roject. Par tners include the Gr e ater Newtown Community Redevelopment Corporation the Sarasota branch of the NAACP, the Florida House Institute for Sustainab le Development and the Human Services Planning Association. The asset-mapping project will build on work begun in Dr. Brain's spring class, Community Action Workshop. Three students from that class will con tinue with the work during the summer. All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend a lunch on Friday, May 19, at the Caples Carriage House to Jearn more about CARL Food will be provided by Newtown's own Big Daddy's Barbecue. The faculty grant re cipients, the students from the class, the students who will be working on asset-mapping over the summer, and CARl's community partners will all be present to talk about their projects specifically and the idea of community based research generally. The Catalyst is available on the World Wide Web at http:/ /www.sar. usf edu/-catalyst/ The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponContributions may range in length from 250 General Editor sored by Professor Maria Vesperi. It is to 500 words. Letters to the Editor should be no Shanon Ingles developed in the New College Publications more than 250 words. Submissions should be Managing Editor Office using Adobe Photoshop and Quark labeled as either letters to the Editor or Ben Ruby Xpress for PowerMacintosh and printed at the contributions and include names and contact Layout Editors Online Editor and Bradenton Herald with money provided by the information. Mario Rodriguez and Buisness Manger New College Student Alliance. Submissions may be saved to the Catalyst Michael Sanderson Nikki Kostyuo Contributions folder in the on the "Public" file server, printed submissions may be placed in Copy Editor Photography Direct submissions and inquiries to: campus box 75, and all other contributions may Kathryn Dow Heather Whitmore and The Catalyst be e-mailed to email@example.com. No Kelly Jones 5700 N. Tamiami Tr. Box #75 anonymous submissions will be accepted. Staff Writers Sarasota, FL 34243 All submissions must be received by 5 : 00 Max Campell, Darren Guild, Ryan McCo ick Price, cat a firstname.lastname@example.org edu p.m. Saturday in order to appear in the following Esq., Leah Schnelbach week's issue. Contributor The Catalyst reserves the right to edit Julie Morris submissions for space, grammar or style. ... i
3 The Catalyst News New College put in "most competitive" category by May 17, 2000 Rah, Rah, Go New College! Barron's by Max Campbell Colle?e is still the pick of the litter, this according to Barron's Proftle of Amencan a popular college guide which boasts of being the one cho1ce among American students today. Once again Barron s placed New in th: "Most Competitive category of !ege an honor wh1ch our fine establishment has held since time 1mmemonal ... which is to say, for as long as our Admissions office can re call. files don't go back further than 1997," Assistant Director of Admisswns Susan Rothfuss wrote in an e-mail to the Catalyst "but the 5/1/97 letter the editor for the 'Most Competitive' guide say; that New of USF IS 'once again included.' So, I'd say we're safe saying (we were mcluded for) at least four years." each college and university in that guidebook a se lectivity ratmg, Director of New College Admissions Kathleen Kill" explained. "Nexr year, New College will be listed as 'Most Selective' as been for several years now. The really good thing is that New College still has_, an,? hopefu_lly will have, the 'Most Selective' competitive ratmg: Accordmg to Killwn, he Admissions department has used some of Its fundi?g _this semester to purchase additional copies of s gu1de, to be distnbuted to guidance counselors and interested par ents. We bought lots of she "So we'll be handing them out for as long as New Its rating in the big book." New s mcluswn m the Most Competitive" category places our beloved amongst such august company as Harvard, Yale, and Br?wn Umvers1ty. The description of this category in last year's Barron's states that superior students will encounter a great deal of com pehhon for admiSSion to the colleges in this category ... In addition many of these colle admit on a small of those who ratings b ase d o n a col entrance and gra d e point ave r age, and t he pe r cen t age of t h ose s tudent s a dmitted f o r the freshman class of the previous year. .. is the most widely respected college guides, in my ?p1ruon, s!td. Most of the other guidebooks don't rate you accord mg to _selectiVIty. Of just. as different colleges place varying emphasts the determme which students will be admitted, so too vanous gutdes differ m determining the selectivity of a particular uni verstty. example," Killion said, "Peterson's Guide to Four-year Colleges IS a_ respected and widely read guide, they do indicate entrance dtfficulty rndex, in which New College is listed as 'Very Difficult,' but not in the 'Most Difficult' category." Under Peterson's 'Most Difficult' category, the guide states that "More than 75% of the freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1310 on the SAT I ... about 30% or fewer of the applicants were accepted-:' In the 'Very Difficult' category, "More than 50% of the freshmen were m the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on_ the SAT} ... about 6_0% or fewer applicants were accepted." Killion opmed that our evaluatiOn and selection process, we don't place as much _emphasis on SAl' scores, which could be one reason that we aren't hsted m the 'Most Difficult' category in Peterson's." In any New College has made an impressive showing in compet thveness, whtch students here regard as a good thing. "My favorite thing about College," second-year Chloe Johnson said, "Is how there's so bnlhant people here. I have so much respect for the people I meet here. It s like a more fertile place for all of the elements of your humanity to grow." Forth-year _Jennifer and second-year April Wagner readily agreed. The more I thtnk about 1t, I really feel that this place engenders creativity and enthusiasm among the students here," Shaw said. Wagner concluded by that "People here are excited about and we can all feed Catalyst special report: Studying Abroad at New College New College students who wish to study abroad have a variety of options. by Darren Guild Currently there are more than 29 New College st.udents living and study ing in far comers of the globe. Name practically anywhere in the word and it is likely there is a university or abroad program one can join there. Studying abroad can be the highlight of a students time in college. Just ask Ian Hallet, a fourth year who went to Belize. "It was easily the most en lightening and revealing experience of my life," he said. There are a number of options for New College students; the hard part is narrowing down the field and finding an affordable program to go through. New College students have one of two choices: to apply directly to a uni versity somewhere or to apply to one of the hundreds of study abroad programs available. For New College students, the second choice could in volve applying to the International Student Exchange Program of the University of South Florida or it could involve applying to programs of a similar nature at other colleges and universities. "One of the main influences [about which choice a student decides to take] is how much it costs," said Career Development Coordinator Karen Patriarca. The advantage of choos ing to apply to the International Student Exchange Program of USF is you pay the same tuition as you would if you were at New College and if you have a state scholarship it stays in place. The advantage of going through a potentially more expensive program somewhere else or applying directly to another college or university is the selection you have. USF currently has student exchange programs in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Korea, Sweden, Wales, Israel, Australia, Japan, Russia, and Mexico. Four of the programs in England, Oxford Brooks, Western Sydney, Queen Mary & Westfield, and Middlesex, are on limited availability basis. "What some tjmes happens is that we send more students there then they send here or the other way around ... then the program has to fmd a balance," explained Patriarca about why these particular places are on limited availability. If you missed the chance t o go t o one of these limited availability places or want to go to a country USF does not offer an exchange program to, you will have find other opportunities. Patriarca commented many stu d ents go abroad through other programs but "often not as affordabJy." If you apply directly to another university you have to pay the normal tuition at that uni versity. Depending on where you decide to go and your personal financial relationship with New College, this could end up being a much more expen sive option, but it is also possible the university where you apply to could be cheaper than the tuition you pay to New College. This range of prices is a factor in choosing another college or university connected exchange program or in choosing a private program. Often you will end up paying the tuition of the college or university that you study abroad through. This means if you want to go somewhere that is only available through a $30,000 a year college or university you would most likely have to pay that tuition. One popular private program is called the School for International Training (S.I.T.). SIT offers unique learning opportunities that are often hands on and take place outside of the classroom. Student reactions to studying abroad are very p ositive. Hallet went through a program called Global Stewardship Study Program. He lived in thatched roof cabanas in the middle of the Belize rain forest in an environ mentally friendly compound that used solar power and natu r al gas. The program offered courses ranging from sociology to anthropology to biol o gy, to name a few Since the program was not accredite d Hal l e t sent his work back to New College for review. Hallet recommended that students go dur ing their second year ''so if you come bac k and want t o c h ange your ma jor, like I did, you can." Fourth year Caroline LaFleur went to Ireland t hrough a p rogram called College Consortium of I nternational Studies. LaFleur said she "would d efi nitely recommend it, but" she added, "you should go for a year because it takes at least three months to really adjust to the culture and if y o u're only there for a semester you're almost done by then
4 The catalyst Entertainment May 17, 2000 Special Report: An at home interview with Professor Berggren by Mario Rodriguez Sunsets framed in the rectangular doors of their sparse, antique yet zen living room were a calming thing for Philosophy Professor Doug Berggren and USF Sarasota Comptroller Barbara Berggren in the early days of New College. From a teaching position at Yale, Professor Berggren became one of 15 full professors and one instructor (Literature Professor Mac Miller) to come to New College in the early sixties. "We met everyday throughout that whole ummer trying to concoct or bring the college into being," Berggren recalled. These 16 people would be the charter faculty responsible for the inception of New College, which tarted out as an eleven-month system of trimesters. It took three years to complete, and consisted of a core program in the fir t year, an area of con centration in the second, and a senior seminar in the third year. Students would specialize in their second year, then converge in seminar fasion and bring their specificity to one text. As it turned out, Berggren felt thi etup did not work so well. [S]tudents ... [heard] the rhetoric [and it] was 'come here and proceed in your own way at your own pace.' Their whole first year was pretty much mapped out for them." Still there were some benefit "I think the thing that I'll really look back most fondly on is the team-taught humanities program. The faculty was teaching one another as much as the tudents." From 1964 to 1975 New College was private, admissions paid for students to fly in from all over the counry and handed out handsome feJiowships. Things were good. In the late sixties the faculty devised the contract system, which eliminated the required courses. Before the merger in 1975, when it was not clear whether New College would continue to be a viable entity, Professor Berggren, who had basically been either a student or professor in school all of his life, had a recurring nightmare. "I knew one thing all my life: that I didn't want to get a job," he explained. In the dream, he would be putting shoes on people's feet. "I had become a shoe salesman." Then: "I was driving to the college one day and 1 w f merged with the University of South Florida and I said to myself 'What!?' ... this whole thing had been such a hush hush deal working it out with the legislature I guess that they didn't want to jinx it. But I still think they could have let the faculty in." Berggren said at this point he had to make a pivotal decision. "Many fac ulty left because they were sure that New College or what they came to do couldn't happen under the merger, but we were actually very fortunate." He interviewed with Bate College but decided to stick it out here, and empha sized New College is not a victim of USF. "However we change, we did it to ourselves," he said. "USF didn't im pose its will on us. New College students and faculty were allowed to set up their own system." Perched meditatively in the comer, Professor Berggren referred continually to the "experimental" and "radical" qualities of that sys tem. "The people who are really intellectually committed but cantankerous -they were the ones who made it [at New College]. They could range from nun to anarchists," he pointed out. "[New College]'s not really radical in some sense of the term, but trong individualist people who have strong con victions [can] do their own thing," he later added. Early in his career, Professor Berggren concerned himself with the inter play of two elements at New College--a tension between what he called being "committed to excellence" and "relevance." By relevant, Berggren meant experimental, which to him entailed crossing di ciplinary lines, knowing one's discipline rigorou ly but questioning the fundamentals, per haps even questioning the relevence of academics altogether. The importance of academic excellence has always been clear in Berggren's mind, however. He recalled being excommunicated by Catalyst member Michael Smith at an SASC meeting in 1969 after he nailed mani festos on excellence to trees, clad in a gown and accompanied by a fanfare of trumpet in the style of Martin Luther. "I started out with 'sex can be ed ucational, poverty can be educational, an impoveri hed sex life can be educational, even education can be educational,"' he explained. "If New College didn't have academic excellence or had not sustained it over the year there would be no point in its existence." "I think I shifted from an over-emphasis on academic excellence to a greater willingness to express the experimental or innovative side of New College," he admitted, attributing the change to the influence of students. "I've learned far more from students than they've learned from me," he said. "[New College J was meant to show that you could achieve excellence through a much more open, experimental fashion," Berggren continued. "To achieve real intellectual rigor and academic excellence in a much more open, experimental, uncontrived fashion." Has the contract system benefitted this vision of New College? Berggren insisted it has in many ways, giving students intellectual freedom unparal lelled in the early days of the school. The price we pay, according to Berggren, is that the interaction between students and faculty, and between .. ,.., .... .,...,,.. of the college again. "We haven't found quite the right mechanism to get faculty and students interacting informally the way they did in tho e early years, [when they were] sitting down for lunch [together every day in College Hall]. "The rise of"subcommunities" at New College, which Berggren could attribute in part to the contract system, detracted from "the experimental feel ing of a whole community." What is needed to ammeliorate the situation, he suggested, i an habitual ongoing occasion or place for re-evaluating the na ture of a New College education rather than doing thi sporadically. For example, it has been suggested in the past to use January for faculty and stu dents to talk about education outside of the classroom. "The college doesn't have a sense of itself," Berggren noted. "We don't contest enough among the faculty, or among students, for that matter. We get a certain amount of peace or contentment at this college by not contesting what the other person is doing." Berggren wants to remain involved with campus academics fROM "BERGGREN" ON PAGE 1 1 quantify the ways Berggren has con tributed to New College as an institution of radical superior education. In so many words, students and faculty alike agree that he is unrivaled and indis pensable. "The word unique takes no modifier .. .it either is or it ain't, and he is," remarked Berggren's cohort since 1968, Professor of Literature Arthur McArthur 'Mac' Miller. He continued to explain how Berggren has exem plified the essence of the college, "by his astonishing examples, by performing what he thought, by being the kind of person that is thought in action." "He's worked very hard to keep students at the center of everything we're thinking about, and to keep students as participants in education and the in stitution, rather than as people we practice education on," explained Berggren's former philosophy student and current fellow philosophy pro fessor, Aron Edidin. A friend and colleague since 1966, Professor of History Lazslo Deme remembers Berggren as a strong arm in the history of the col lege, "Dr. Berggren was quite vocal about maintaining the academic excellence, rather than turning the place into a sanitarium." Receiving a BA in philosophy from Carlton College, moving on to pick up a Fulbright scholarship to receive an MA and Ph.D. in philosophy from Jesus College at Oxford University, Berggren finished his education at Yale with another MA and Ph.D. in philosophy. Berggren recollected that it was in his 2nd year at Oxford that he met his wife Barbara Berggren, Student Government Comptroller, where she was then studying mathematics at St. Anne's College. "She was the tallest girl I had ever gone out with," laughed Berggren as he described his attraction to his wife. "We have very different minds so we compliment one another," he added. When asked how he would describe the Doug Berggren he met in 1968, Miller replied, "precisely beautiful and dynamic." According to Miller, Berggren was very popular with the students and would frequently hang out around Hamilton Center talking philosophy. Most of his students found Berggren, "very friendly, yet dauntingly brilliant," noted Miller. Deme's reflections on the Berggren he knew well in the sixties was a bit more comical, "A bright academic-made lot of sense; but, he used to look very much like a Yaley .. .I was very much impressed, because you know the climate-but he gradually gave it up." In 1964, Berggren left a position as assistant professor at Yale to become a full and founding professor at New College. Over the next several years he worked on developing an aesthetic foundation for the Humanities division. "I miss the aesthetics of the old New College,'' commented Berggren as he jsEE ON PAGE 6
5 The Catalyst News May 17, 2000 will continue to pursue scholarly [ I together", and found a job with the Research research of the New York Times. While he remamed m the employ of the Tune for five years D D d "d'd r. erne a m1ts that he 1 not care lOT 1t very much but it was better than a b II' T b h JO se mg msurance he JO taug t young Deme about the real world, although with the tlve _of long years? Profes or Deme happily admits that he prefers the au p1ces of The research position, moreover, pr()l.lided Deme with the opportumty to significantly more about his new homeland. "I learned about Amenca m the same way that most European cholars d'd" ay Deme, "I read the Constitution and the Federali t Papers. So ounded wonderful, although perhaps that wa a little na1ve E f h 44 f d ven o, a ter 1s year o rest ency here, Dr. Deme admit that he fll th. k th d" I m e countr_y IS pretty goo and that he mdeed made the right choice after leaving h1s homeland. Adju ti,?g to life_ his marvelou new homeland was no ea y ta k, ad_Deme: It I had the mentality of an exile, rather than an Whtle tmmtgrant is full of hopes for a way of life he has come to of hts own free wtll, an exile is full of torn Ioyalt1'es and t t h h wan s o return to IS omeland. It 1s an unhappy frame of mind and it took me 1 t. d. L'f f a ong tme to a JU t. 1 e or Dr. Deme, however, took a momentously happy tum in wfhehn he a fete thrown in New York by the Commander-inte o t e Hunganan National Guard, a veteran of the Revolution of '56. There were numer?u veteran Hungarian oldier in attendance, and a hand ful of young Amencan women. Among these lovely girl Dr. Deme met the lady who would a few months later become Elaine Deme. following his _Dr. Deme ceased hi employment at the NewYork Times and took on a posthon teaching history at New York State College at Geneseo, he remained for two years, before receiving word from Placement Off1ce at Columbia University that there was an opening for a h1story professor at New College. Dr. Deme like mo t other pe o ple in 19661 had never h ard d t e de c tion of the rad icallibcral arts chool intriguing, and during his interview, he "wa sold on the idea." He was particularly charmed with the state of Florida, which he had heard of previously only as an area noted "for it good climate, and noth ing el e." Deme chuckled, "provincial prejudices." Thus, Dr. Laszlo Deme arrived at New College as a Professor of European Hi tory, intending to stay for three years. He tayed for the next thirty-four. The. e early years of New College are known among the elder profes-ors as "the heroic days;" tudents and teachers were engaged in an exciting new enterprise, creating something that was both an in titution of higher learning and a mi sionary ociety. "There was an enormous amount of talking," recalls Deme, "and a tremendous amount of nonsen e." Nonsense a ide, Dr. Deme was tremendously impressed by the spirit of New College, something he says is still present to this day; "The most important feature of this confined community is tolerance, closely followed by benefit of the doubt, and intellectual curiosity." The initial idea for the process of radical education at New College called for the meeting of two first-class minds, that of the student and the professor, in a close, personal environment. The in terplay of questions and answers between the teacher and the class would provide for a learning experience on both sides. This was one of the most Important aspects of New College. "I hesitate to use the phrase 'Socratic method' to describe it, because that is one of those catchy phrases," says Deme. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Deme, these Socratic meetings of first-class minds often occurred over a vacuum. "A student would be as signed some reading, and would not bother to read it. This would not prevent him from making intelligent commentary." Says Deme with a smile, "This tradition is still present at New College." The best part of the New College, in Deme's eyes, is the senior thesis. The work which most students do for their theses is equivalent to master's degree work. As Professor Deme says, "In the process of the thesis and the baccalaureate, all the rhetoric about individualized education finally materi alizes. That is what lends substance to our school's claim on being an 'honor college'." Dr. Laszlo Deme was soon appointed as Division Chair of Social Sciences, an important role in those early days when the Social Sciences di vision was struggling, understaffed and underplanned. Dr. Deme's efforts revitalized and even created a great deal of the division. Says Dr. Douglas Berggren, Professor of Philosophy, "Laci [Dr. Deme]'s contributions to New College are legendary. Not only did he help create the Social Science Division as we know it today, he has also left his mark on every aspect of the on the politics, society, culture and history. few appearances was the honorable Geza Jeszemszky, Foreign Mini ter of Hungary, a good friend and fellow scholar to Dr. Deme. "Deme," as Profes or Doenecke says, "made history," here at the col lege. For both fellow professors and students, Deme will leave behind a legacy that will never fade. Dr. Douglas Berggren, a close friend, neighbor, and cohort of Dr. Deme, has this to ay of the man he has worked with for 34 years and will be retiring with this year: "What I per onally treasure most about Laci is the way in which he embodies, in every aspect of his life, what it means to be an intellectual, as well as a cultivated and compas ionate human being." Professor Arthur MeA. "Mac" Miller, Professor of British and American Literature, adds in a scholarly vein, "Professor Deme, contin ually, brought "grace under fire" to the sodden trenches of our faculty. The immense spread of his knowledge ... not only history, but literature and al lied fields as well ... has graced our curriculum." Indeed, many students remember Dr. Deme not only for his famous courses on 19th century Europe and the Hapsburg Monarchy (a course that, according to Deme, would only receive such a large turnout at New College), but for his remarkably colorful use of language, and for his compassion. Says Joven Carandang, a third-year history major: "He [Deme] makes you feel like you really belong. I was insecure in class about my knowledge of his tory, but he pshawed it away. His guidance helps you grow and write more confidently. He ... makes you happy," J.C. finishes with a laugh. Professor Deme's particular style in the classroom is most certainly one of his trade marks. Robert Cooksey, a fourth-year student, reminisces: "He [De me] loves history like a romantic, detests Nietzsche and his relativization of value, sings the praises of the Magyars without being a blind nationalist, and holds forth for the value of the side of the angels while giving the cynics ... like myself ... a sideways wink. Historians' roots lay in storytelling, and Deme seems to lay close to these roots." Professor Laszlo Deme has contributed 34 years of his life to the service of New College. He has created our prestigious history department, guided generations of students through the complexities of European history, and has has been a force for good in this world. Professor Deme alone can pro vide the words to sum up his time here: "I have devoted well over 30 years of my life to teaching here, and it has become one of the most important parts of my life, right after my wife and my children. Teaching at New College," says Professor Deme, "has been my greatest honor."
6 The Catalyst News May 17, 2000 Million Moms go to Washington Tens of thousands of moms, ac companied by children and husbands, hoped to meet with law makers Monday after a successful Sunday demonstration. Signs car ried by the marchers read: "Children are not bulletproof," and "I Vote." Some families carried pictures of their dead children. Speakers included a Columbine art teacher, and the mother of Kayla Roland, who was shot by her first grade classmate. Giuliani's bad week Rudy Giuliani still hasn't decided which type of cancer treatment to pursue. He also hasn't stated whether or not he will remain in the race for the New York Senate. However, he did say that he and his wife of 16 years are separating. She has already held a press con ference to expound upon his past adulteries. Mother Nature's revenge The Los Alamos, New Mexico fires have claimed a famous vic tim. The buildings in which the first atomic bomb was tested have been burned to the ground. Only one of the historically significant structures remains standing. More importantly many homes have been destroyed. Rebels free 139 hostages The Revolutionary United Front Rebels of Sierra Leone have re leased 139 people. However, their forces still surround the United Nations workers who were sent to the country to help with a peace treaty. The treaty, which had been in effect for ten months, has appar ently been violated bythe RUF, who murdered thirteen civilians and six soldiers. Britain,Sierra Leone's former colonizer, has sent 700 paratroopers in to help with evacuations. Maximus vs. the Psychlos Gladiator has remained the number one movie in America, earning 24.3 million dollars this weekend. Battlefield Earth, John Travolta's science fiction monstrosity, only made 12.3 million, despite being shown on 400 more screens than the Roman epic Wrestler reveals naughty bits Sumo wrestler Asanokiri lost a na tionally televised match on Saturday when his loincloth fell off. He forfeited the match imme diately, due to a rule that penalizes wrestlers for not wrapping their mawashi belts properly. This is the first time that the 83-year-old rule has been enacted. Compiled from MSNBC and Fox News Berggren looks back on a career spanning four decades IPROM t'BERGGREN" ON PAGE 4 j explained how in the first year s he LL ____________ ____. brought in artists musJcJans, and wnters from around the states to present to students Miller confirmed his efforts "It was his vision of a basic literacy in the humanities that helped form 1 /3 of the now New College program for the first 101 students." "In 1968, when I got here, Doug Berggren was shall we say the keystone of the arch of charter faculty for the Humanities, smiled Miller in reverence of Berggren's accomplishments. "I think there's always been a tension at New College between excellence and relevance," noted Berggren. "In the early days there was a face off be tween the student-movement emphasis on relevance, and Berggren's phiJosophical s t a nce l hat exce ence was e e uca wna goa} o ew College," explained Miller on academic conflicts in the early years. These conflict s we r e l h e catalyst of one of Berggren's most famous stunts in the history of New College. While the story was told with a different mood every time, all three pro fessors (Berggren, Deme, and Miller) recounted a tale when Berggren was "excommunicated" by the students for being an academic heretic. As legend has it, Berggren recreated the act of Martin Luther's declaration of separation from the Catholic Church during the reformation, only he targeted hippie kids in Palm Court. According to Deme, Berggren wrote a proclamation of academic excel lence rejecting all New College students who didn't agree with the academic enterprise and pinned it to palm trees in palm court. "He wore an academic gown; I helped him ... He couldn't find a hammer in his whole house so I gave him one. We had fun in those days," remembered Deme. He continued to tell how few days later a small group of students dressed as monks ing candles processed into a faculty meeting to declare Berggren a heretic. "He was excommunicated by the enemy," laughed Deme. "The academic excellence became the ethos of the college, rather then behaving like a contra group," concluded Deme on Berggren's influence in maintaining the integrity of New College in the sixties. Both Berggren and Deme remembered the 1960's as a trying, but invigorated, time for the col lege. "There was something exciting in the air about New College it was not just an institution of higher education; it was a missionary society," re marked Deme. As one of the last remaining figures from the early days, Berggren's re tirement is a bit disorienting for faculty and students. In time with the retirement of New College vanguards such as Deme, Nancy Ferraro, Director of Admissions Kathleen Killion, and Director of Special Project Development James Feeney, Berggren's exit has left faculty and students at a loss. Admiring the sway Berggren's voice has had on the both the philoso phy and practice of New College, faculty agree he will be missed. "Berggren's retirement is a part of the changing of the guard, if you will," began Miller in a reflective tone. "I'm not sure is there is anyone in the fac ulty to carry on the experimental aspect of New College in such a way to motivate students and professors to think outside the box .. .I wish there were." "He always kept alive something for the original spirit of New College," remarked Deme. Certain that the school won't faU flat without Berggren, Deme recognized that there will be some changes, "It's not going to be the same but we will uphold the old standards." For Edidin Berggren s resignation means other faculty members might have to pick up the torch. "Since be s been here the longest, the types of things that other professors are responsible for organize themselves around the work of Berggren, explained Edidin Faculty will have to be more re sponsible for trying to keep discussion focused on the central value of the college." As the post-everything New College mind, from analytic philosophy to structuralism to French existentialism, Berggren has been an enormous in fluence in the philosophy deeartment. Recallin his as one o erggren s s u ent o o 'i 10 rne'l'lll nea o t\vo classes in his first year opened up his future as a phi l osophy pr ofessor, "Ana l ytic p hilosophy w ith W ittge n ste i n an d ano t her class, phil os oph y o f r e lig ion ... the experience in both o f the se classes w a s somethin g like finding the intellectual home I didn t know I had. I think that in my case Berggren really solidified my desire to be a phi losophy student," explained current Berggren student, third year Philosophy major Caroline Arruda. Having taken seven courses with him over the pa s t three years, Arruda thinks highly of Berggren's teaching style. "He really taught me there are lots of creative ways to interpret problems and thinkers, as opposed to the traditional text books." Much of the state of the philosophy department is built on Berggren ac cording to Arruda. "I think he really changed the face of New College in the sense that a lot of the things we take for granted are as a result of his work." She continued, "it's hard to imagine what it's going to be like without him." Although they'll miss Berggren, both Arruda and Edidin are anticipating a new era in New College philosophy with April Flakne. Flakne, current phi losophy professor and Harvard and recent of New School for Social Research graduate in philosophy, has been offered Berggren's position. "We're all looking forward to having her join the faculty in the fall. It could have felt a lot worse to contemplate life without Berggren in the future if we hadn't been so fortunate in the search," commented Edidin. Arruda was particularly enlivened by the prospect. "I think: she's great. I think she'll work really well at New College." To this she added, "I'm really quite excited because I think it's going to be a year that will be distinctly dif ferent from the past three years." It's difficult to sum up a commentary on the retirement of Doug Berggren. Knowing that he will remain living and working only a few blocks away from campus brings comfort for his lost thesis students and friends. It might be best to end with an anecdote from Edidin's days as one of Berggren's stu dents. "I don't know how many people left at the institution have seen him stand on his head and drink a glass of water," began Edidin as he told of one shenanigan Berggren would pull for students at Florida Philosophy Association meetings during the seventies. An image of Berggren with feet in the air and glass in hand before the great philosophical minds of this state is a pungent and somehow appropriate memory of his impact here at New College. As Edidin concluded, "that was very impressive."
7 The Catalyst Entertainment May 17, 2000 Negativland bri gs their qur y meda collage to Florida The Clearwater show was their only Florida appearance on their first tour in seven years. by Kathryn Dow Why is the phonograph throwing the record in the au? I knew we shouldn't have fixed it with parts from the toa ter. To say that seeing Negativland live wa a religiou experience would be an undcrstatment, and demeaning to the band. The multi-media pectacle which was presented to tho e fortunate enough to attend Saturday's show at tub More in Clearwater transcended anything imaginable. The band's True/False 2000 production mark 20 year that the e brilliant media pirates have been creating an art form of tealing. But 11 really tealing? The ex perimental-music and art collective known as egativland ha been recording music/audio/collage work ince 19 producmg a weekly 3 hour radio how (Over The Edge) since 19 t, ho ting a World Wide Web site since 1995, and performing live on occasional tours throughout America and Europe. Their music relic heavily on samples, often put in a atirical context. By arranging the amples in certain ways, and combining them with elements of their own creation, egativland ha created a fairly impre sive di cography of ocial commentary and urrcality. Their concert took this to a whole new level. The True/False show wa created partially with works from their albums, tied together with new creation The end result wa a collage of mu ic, n ise, po en-word, film, and stage acting that left the audience tarin op n-m uthed at the stage in the end. .A1thoogh it I career, Mark Ho ler an d hi coh ort. arc prob a bly best known for
-8 The Catalvst Entertainment Some nsigh into multi-media misfits May 17, 2000 by Mario Rodriguez Where else could you see omeone play a projector like a turntable than at a concert given by the group that coined the term 'culturedamming' in 1984, since promulgated by media arti t and activists. egativland, which performed in Clearwater last w ek, recently finished cutting a CD with Chumbawumba called The ABC's of Anarchy fearturing the Teletubbies. In an interview with The Addict, Negativland co-founder Mark Hosler made clear hi view that art i prefab and so is c tlture in today's world. The dif ference between collage and ripping omeone off, then, is completely reordering the media to say omething new, a with alternative operating ystems, like Linux. Programmers spend their pare time writing all that free code because they enjoy it, so in their opinion it' okay to pirate it. But if you just change one line of the code and try to sell it as omething new, that's just lame. For Christ's sake, do omething interesting with it. Or not for Christ's sake, judging from the 'Christianity is Stupid. Give up.' t-shirts fthe band sells. Christianity is Stupid i the title of a egativland song. The band has been prolific over their 20 year career. They are the authors of the book, 'Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the umeral 2,' a recanting of their near-fatal legal bout with Island Records. They recorded the oundtrack to indie film 'The Ad and the Ego,' by Craig Baldwin, and were themselves the subject of Harold Boihem 's 1995 feature film 'Sonic Outlaw '. Negativland is currently engaged in their 'True/Fa! e 2000 tour.' Don Joyce's econd-floor apartment at the interface between Berkeley and Oakland double a a recording tudio for egativland. Mi cellaneous junk and magnetic recording tape arc strewn about everywhere. "Problems arise when you take on omething famous, becau e you have all of lbese 'nobody-make. -fun-of-us' people, people so vested in their cor porate identities that they can't stand to be embarra ed and [who] want to get back at you .... Hosler aid their latest album, 1997's' Di. i ', wa not an attempt to be sued again, because that is "not fun." his time, egativland is confident that tl ey are protected by the Fair U e ection of fh .. 0 They were nul so luckyNegativland mixed 2' I