Faculty Shop Talks


Fall 2018 Schedule

Presenter:Carlos Mejia Suarez
Title: "Transgression and the Symbolic Order of Human Rights in Contemporary Latin American Literature"
Time and Place: September 21, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: The establishment of a symbolic order that manages empathetic networks is at the same time a political and an aesthetic inquiry into the manner in which societies keep a historical, artistic, and ultimately cultural record of human rights violations and critical moments of widespread violence. My analysis focuses on Pablo Montoya’s historical novels and how they thematize visual representations of pain in the context of historical moments such as: Ovid’s exile and his interaction with those displaced by the Roman empire in Lejos de Roma, the photographic representation of Colombian forms of violence in Los derrotados, and the early modern visual attempts at representing religious and imperial violence in France and the New World in Tríptico de la infamia. In Montoya’s work empathy is a network of material objects symbolically charged that can prompt viewers into action, but which are vulnerable to manipulation and acritical empathetic consumption (as a consumer whose emotional response is prompted by artifacts and is easily settled into inaction). My analysis particularly studies how in Montoya’s work fiction is used to resignify actual visual artifacts; thus exploring the implications of reality and fiction in overarching historical narratives. I contrast the development of ecphrasis in Montoya’s work with other Latin American works that pose similar questions regarding empathy and other forms of emotional response (indignation, vengeance, scape-goating, etc). I will particularly refer to Yuri Herrera’s Señales que anteceden al fin del mundo, Rodrigo Rey Rosa’s El material humano, Martín Kohan’s Ciencias morales, and the oral history classic La noche de Tlatelolco by Elena Poniatowska.

Time and Place: October 12, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


Presenter: Phil Bryant
Title: "After Stomping at the Grand Terrace: American Poetry in the Time of Trump"
Time and Place: November 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This talk will be a survey and update on the state of contemporary American Poetry during these challenging and trying times of the present administration. The central question being, what's peotry good for in times of political crisis and upheaval?"

Presenter: Kathy Lund Dean
Title: "I never thought about it that way: Ethical issues in teaching"
Time and Place: November 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

 Abstract: The great majority of graduate programs don’t include programmatic training about teaching, much less engagement with potential ethical issues in teaching practices. Bring your own stories about ethical issues you have experienced within the context of teaching activities, and join Kathy Lund Dean for an interactive discussion about issues many of us face, ethics resources and academic communities, and structured ways to consider what’s happening and what options exist to help resolve such issues.

Presenter: Scott Bur
Title: "Setting students up for research success"
Time and Place: December 7, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This talk will describe efforts to engage students in authentic chemistry research early in their careers. This project started with raising student awareness and providing early research opportunities (2008 HHMI grant). Building upon these successes, research infrastructure was then enhanced (2010 NSF grant). Research capacity was developed in the students through concerted curricular changes to the first four semesters of the chemistry course sequence. Ultimately, an “Introduction to Research” course, which replaces the traditional CHE-251 laboratory section, was designed, piloted during J-term, and implemented in the fall of 2017.

Presenter: Ursula Lindqvist
Title: Nordic-Branded Feminism and Third Word Tropes in Global Cinema
Time and Place: December 14, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: Before the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements became headline-making hashtags, film industry leaders in the Nordic countries already were taking revolutionary steps to improve the representation of women in film, both in front of and behind the lens. In 2013, some of Sweden’s major movie theaters introduced a new ratings system based on the Bechdel Test, which requires a film to have two named female characters who talk to one another about something other than a man. Then in 2015, Swedish Film Institute CEO Anna Serner announced that her agency had achieved gender parity among the directors, producers, and screenwriters of SFI-funded films and launched a “Nordic Women in Film” initiative to foster greater visibility and gender parity throughout the region. One reason female filmmakers are so important, Serner argues, is that women’s stories have been historically underrepresented and thus provide both the freshness and the resonance that today’s oversaturated media market craves. But when Nordic female filmmakers and self-declared “feminists” tackle issues of race, class and colonialism in their films, Nordic-branded feminism often becomes a litmus test delineating “insiders” from “outsiders” in Nordic society. This talk explores this dynamic in the work of several globally acclaimed Nordic female filmmakers, including Susanne Bier, Annette K. Olesen, Gabriela Pichler, and Lisa Langseth. 

Spring 2019 Schedule

Presenter: Margaret Bloch Qazi
Title: "Song of the Old Mother - Multigenerational maternal age effects on offspring fitness"
Time and Place: February 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center 

Abstract: Senescence describes a declining physiological fate. While it was commonly thought that senescence affected only the involved individual and after they had stopped reproducing, there is an emerging body of research showing that individuals reproduce as they senescence and that offspring are affected by this changing parental state. In this Shop Talk, I will describe research examining the multigenerational effects of maternal senescence on offspring using the pomace fly as a model system.

Presenter: Deb Pitton
Title: "A memoir about a memoir. Deb Pitton"
Time and Place: March 8, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This presentation will review the process used to research and write a memoir about a 2010 January term course that evolved into quite an adventure. Having published several books of narrative case studies and other books and papers, when the time finally became available to do more intensive work on this memoir (during my recent sabbatical), I approached it in the same manner I had my other work. However, the process took me in a very different direction. This presentation, besides providing an overview of the memoir’s story line, will explore these questions: 

  • How do you put together a memoir that publishers will print?
  • What life events are significant enough to be deemed ‘book-worthy’?
  • How is the process of pursuing publication for a memoir different from the publication of an academic text?
  • What was learned through this process?

Presenter: Casey Elledge
Title: "Josephus, the Pharisees, and the Afterlife: A Study in Translation"
Time and Place: March 22, 2018 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: Judaism of the Hellenistic and Roman eras generated a variety of afterlife beliefs that remain prominent within Western religions, including hope in an eschatological resurrection. Today, scholars study the emergence and variety of such beliefs among the latest writings of the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the New Testament. Yet the only ancient author to offer a somewhat methodical description of what Jews believed on these matters was the historian Flavius Josephus (37 – ca. 100 C.E.). This presentation examines his depiction of afterlife beliefs among the Pharisees (Jewish War 2:163; Jewish Antiquities 18:14), who became the movement most frequently associated with positive afterlife hopes. The doxographical and ethnographic techniques that Josephus utilizes reveal his arts of cultural translation, as renders Jewish eschatological hopes like resurrection into language familiar to Greek and Roman audiences. Such arts of cultural translation offered an historically reasonable account of Jewish afterlife hopes, while also defending Judaism as an ancient and venerable tradition that was essentially in accord with the best of Greek and Roman culture.

Presenter: Sidonia Alenuma--Nimoh
Title: "Inclusive Teaching Strategies in Ghana and the United States: Teaching All of Our Children"
Time and Place: April 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: This shoptalk discusses inclusive teaching strategies and best practices for teaching all children irrespective of their background (gender, race, class, language, religion, sexual orientation, or ability). The juxtaposition of Ghana's and USA's inclusive teaching strategies will be explored.

Presenter: Lucie Holmgreen
Title: "Attachment and the Cyclical Nature of Sexual Trauma"
Time and Place: April 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center

Abstract: People who are sexually abused as children are significantly more likely than are other people to be sexually assaulted in adulthood, a phenomenon referred to as sexual revictimization. While the reasons for this relationship are likely complex and transactional, one potential mechanism involves attachment, or the way people typically think, feel, and behave in relationships. This talk will describe two studies examining the role of attachment in sexual revictimization from two different angles – what attracts sexually aggressive men, and how attachment affects high-risk dating behaviors.