Bard Civic Engagement Essay Contests

About the Conference

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The Get Engaged conference is not a traditional academic conference. Instead it is designed to grow the network of young social entrepreneurs and change agents who are actively using the liberal arts as a tool to develop solutions to challenges in their communities. The conference is an effective forum to strengthen the Bard network/inter-campus collaborations among students, faculty, and administrators, and acts as an inspiration to participants whose aspiration is focused on addressing complicated social issues.

Click here for a PDF of the 2017 conference program, or the image to the left to view it on Issuu.


The conference workshops offered skills-based sessions to encourage Get Engaged Participants to seek innovative and creative approaches to social issues and provided participants the opportunity to collaborate with students in the Bard International network. Workshops focused on:
  • Leadership
  • Public Speaking
  • Networking
  • Social Media and Effective Organizing and Programming
  • Community Partnerships
  • Innovation and Creativity


Anastasiya Radzionava, European Humanities University
Each participant was asked to make a short, creative presentation of his or her project or program incorporating plans for future development.

See Get Engaged Participants in action:

Get Engaged Participants

Bard International Network Get Engaged Participants developed programs and projects as change agents within their institutions and in their local, national and international communities, implementing creative, and sometimes far-reaching activities, including such projects as:
  • Music as Civic Engagement, Reeda Alji, Al-Quds Bard College for Arts and Sciences (AQB)
  • PALiMUN: The First Palestine Model UN University Conference, Saif Salah, AQB
  • Bright Life Winter Camp, Aiperi Iskankova, American University of Central Asia (AUCA)
  • Nomadic Art Camp: Sustainable Development through Contemporary Art, Chynara Bakytkyzy, AUCA
  • Creat(i)ve (Resist)ance, JaQuan Beachem, Bard Annandale
  • Nicaragua Education Initiative: STEM Initiative, Odett Salcedo, Bard Annandale
  • Open Campus Against Closed Borders, Marta Vuković, Bard College Berlin (BCB)
  • Pankow Theatre Company, Clara Canales, BCB
  • Development of the English-Speaking Debate Community at St. Petersburg State University, Nadia Vikulna, Faculty of Arts & Sciences at St. Petersburg State University (FLAS)
  • House of Arts, Polina Peremitina and Vlada Lodesk, FLAS
  • Information Media Campaign on the Internet “Women and Career,” Alesia Pesenka, European Humanities University (EHU)
  • “The Theatre of EHU” and “Cinema Club of EHU,” Volya Novik, EHU

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Learn about more Center for Civic Engagement student opportunities here.

Writer Edie Meidav has been selected to receive the annual Bard Fiction Prize for 2006. The prize, established in 2001 by Bard College to encourage and support promising young fiction writers, consists of a $30,000 cash award and appointment as writer in residence at the College for one semester. Meidav is receiving this year’s Bard Fiction Prize for her second novel Crawl Space, set in rural France in 1940s and late 1990s, and published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2005). She will be writer in residence at Bard College for the spring 2006 semester, where she will continue her writing, hold weekly colloquia with students, and give a public reading.

The Bard Fiction Prize committee notes that in Crawl Space, “Edie Meidav writes with a confidence and maturity uncommon among young novelists. Her prose demonstrates visible warmth for humanity, in all its breadth and narrowness, even as she takes on the difficult task of bringing to life an repellent character: Emile Poulquet, a fugitive French collaborator who singlehandedly sent thousands of Jews to their deaths during the Nazi occupation.”

In one final attempt to evade justice, Poulquet has returned to his hometown to deliver his last will and testament to the woman who never returned his love. Temporarily adopted by a group of young squatters, Poulquet finds himself on the other side of discrimination, living both physically and metaphorically in a dark “crawl space,” where the living bury their dead and hide their memories.

Meidav takes on important issues in this novel—crimes against humanity, guilt and culpability, the nature of memory and forgetting and forgiveness—and she grapples with them gracefully and courageously, wrapping thorny complexities in surprising, evocative imagery, as when she reveals that the narrator’s hometown “had the beauty you might find in the tight crevices of a fist.”

Edie Meidav’s first novel, The Far Field (Houghton Mifflin), was called “ambitious and distinguished” by the Los Angeles Times and is an investigation of Buddhism, the effects of colonialism, and American blindness. Meidav began The Far Field while a Fulbright Fellowship recipient in Sri Lanka. The novel received the following awards and prizes: the 26th Annual Janet Kafka Heidinger Award for the Best Novel Written by an American Woman, the Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001 citation, the Village Voice award for Writers on the Verge, and an Emerging Writer award from the Vermont Studio Center. Meidav’s work has appeared in the Village Voice, Conjunctions, The American Voice, Ms., New Letters, Artweek, and other publications. She is the recipient of writing fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Cummington Community for the Arts, Fundación Valparaíso in Spain, the Yeats Institute in Ireland, and the Eisendrath Fellowship program in Israel, and she has served on panels judging submissions to the National Endowment for the Arts, Yaddo, and the Loft Mentor Series. Meidav received a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master in fine arts degree from Mills College. She lives in California, where she is director of the MA/MFA program in Writing and Consciousness at the New College of California (San Francisco).

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