Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Found in translation

Wheaton Professor Tessa Lee

Professor Tessa Lee, right, and Shawn Peaslee ’12 discuss a document from the Holocaust.

Professor and student decipher Holocaust document

Last year, Associate Professor of German Tessa Lee and her then-student Shawn Peaslee ’12, a German studies major, got a rare chance to translate from German to English a historically significant document from the Holocaust. It was written by a female inmate of one of the concentration camps, and given to Lee by another Holocaust survivor, who had found this manuscript among the belongings of his deceased sister. Lee and Peaslee’s work is now in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. We asked the professor the story behind the translation.

Tell us about the project.

The project started as a request for translation by a Holocaust survivor, Michael Gruenbaum. In his possession is a 12-page manuscript that a woman named Selma from Vienna had written in 1941–1943, during her internment in Theresienstadt [Terezín], a concentration camp in Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. He wanted to have it translated before turning it over to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. Mr. Gruenbaum himself survived Theresienstadt as a 14-year-old through the efforts of his remarkable mother, who got him off the deportation list to Auschwitz four times. In this manuscript were a few lines that describe specifically how Mr. Gruenbaum’s father, a respected lawyer from Prague, had been murdered in Theresienstadt. He wanted the exact translation of that particular sentence since he was going to quote it in his biography (scheduled to be published in 2014 by Simon & Schuster).

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Professor helps strengthen education, child development across cultures

Professor Derek PriceAssociate Professor of Psychology Derek Price’s primary area of scholarship has been early cognitive development, focusing on how it is grounded in the everyday lives of families across cultures. His recent scholarship has included comparative study of childhood development among Native American cultures, particularly the Navajo. For years he has worked in partnership with the STAR School in Arizona evaluating programs to gauge success, especially in enhancing early math development. The Quarterly recently talked with him about his work: [Read more...]

Examining research ethics

Wheaton Professor Teresa CeledaAssistant Professor of Philosophy Teresa Celada has a bachelor’s degree in biological science, and a master’s degree and doctorate in philosophy. The cross-disciplinary combination provides her with an insightful perspective on the ethics of research involving human participants, which is the focus of her scholarship. Last January, she shared her expertise with the members of the National Institute of Public Health and the Ministry of Health in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She worked with them to organize and conduct a two-and-a-half-day symposium on the responsible conduct of research. It was the first activity of a yearlong project aimed at developing a sustainable and culturally appropriate program in ethical research for Cambodia. We recently asked her about her work. [Read more...]

Professor and poet Sue Standing indulges the possibilities of language

Professor Sue StandingFor the fall dedication of the new Mars Center for Science and Technology, Professor of English Sue Standing wrote a poem (inspired by a musical composition by Professor Delvyn Case) in honor of the building. It was one of the highlights of the opening ceremonies and one of the many poems she has written and published over the years. A faculty member since 1979, she currently is writer-in-residence and coordinator of Wheaton’s creative writing program. She has published four collections of poems and has been featured in numerous journals, including the Atlantic Monthly, the Harvard Review, the Nation, Orion and most recently Ploughshares (“Self-Portrait”). Her short story “Fast Sunday” won a 2005 Pushcart Prize. She also has won grants from the Radcliffe Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Foundation. The Quarterly recently asked her about her writing and her research.

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