Frequently Asked Questions

A Call for Papers

Fall 2011 Schedule

Spring 2012 Schedule

  Past Shop Talks



Fall 2011 Schedule

Presenter:  Pamela Kittelson

Title:  Early Bloomers: Can climate advance flowering

Time and Place:  September 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


Advances in spring blooming of wildflowers have been associated with climate change; however, the majority of long-term community-level studies have been conducted in humid-temperate regions.  Less is known about phenological changes in semi-arid plant communities or grasslands.  My colleague and I recorded first-bloom date of common spring wildflowers in a semi-arid montane grasslands near Missoula, MT from 1995 through 2009, and analyzed these data along with mean monthly temperature and precipitation.  Advanced flowering predominated; 75% of the 32 species displayed a negative slope indicating earlier flowering, and this trend was strong for nine species.  Only one species showed a strong trend for later flowering.  Mean advance for all 32 species was 0.6 days/year (~6 days earlier over the study period).  The mean advance for the nine species displaying a strong tendency to flower earlier was 1.6 days/year, which resulted in a mean first bloom date which was three weeks earlier.  Average March temperature and winter precipitation best explained variation in flowering.  Plants strongly advanced when mean March temperature increased and snowpack decreased.  Our results suggest that flowering phenology may be changing faster in the semi-arid west than in other systems and precipitation plays an important role.  It remains unknown what effect early flowering phenologies will have on western grassland communities; flowering too early may result in freeze damage and insect pollinators may arrive at different times, both of which can decrease the fitness of wildflower populations.

Presenter:  Elizabeth Baer

Title:  How I Spent my Summer Vacation: Travel to Dakar, Senegal, for Scholarly Research

Time and Place:  October 14, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


Under the auspices of CIEE, I traveled to West Africa this summer to take a seminar on contemporary literature and the arts in Senegal. The seminar was part of the research I am doing for my next scholarly project, a study of the links between colonialism and genocide. For the Shoptalk, I'll share with the audience a preview of this project, some photos of amazing Senegal, and talk a bit about the advantages of such faculty development summer programs.

Presenter:  Daniel Moos

Title:   "I do not want to hear multiple perspectives!" Theoretical and empirical perspectives on our students' view of knowledge

Time and Place:
  October 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


Though teacher education programs have traditionally focused on behaviors and instructional strategies, there has been a call for theoretically-grounded research that examines the latent foundation of these teaching components. This shift is grounded in empirical findings that suggest instructional practices are significantly associated with personal beliefs. Views about the nature of knowledge, for example, may affect how teachers treat course content and pedagogy. Collectively, these views relate to personal epistemology, a field of study that has enjoyed a long history. Recently, empirical research has begun to draw from this field and examine how personal epistemological beliefs affect pre-service teachers’ development and experiences in the classroom.

This Shop Talk will present and discuss results from a study I conducted with a senior Education student over the 2010-2011 academic year. Participants included a total of 93 Gustavus students from each developmental group (first year, sophomore, junior, and senior). Results indicate significant developmental trajectories, a certain robustness of personal epistemological beliefs, and a significant relationship between these beliefs and views related to instructional practices. Discussion will evolve around the issue of students’ personal epistemological beliefs, their impact in the classroom, and why some students may “not want to hear multiple perspectives!”

Presenter:  Sean Easton

Title:  Absent Mothers, Absent Fathers: Greek Myth and Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior

Time and Place:  November 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


The Woman Warrior is Maxine Hong Kingston’s work of memoir fiction in which her first generation Chinese-American narrator adapts Chinese myth in an effort to access the thought-world of her mother and the women of her mother’s generation. I taught this novel in Classics 101: “Myth and Meaning,” with the goal of using it to illuminate the issues involved in feminist adaptation of patriarchal myth tradition and also to challenge students to construct a dialogue between the novel’s reinterpretation of a Chinese myth tradition and the course’s representation of Greek and Roman myth. This dialogic exercise has been particularly valuable for me, at the level of research, insofar as the novel has enabled me to notice a pattern in the representation of fathers and mothers in Greek myth. Typically, a Greek hero or heroine responds to the distress of a father in one of three ways: if he is old or sick, he is given respect or care; if missing, he is sought out; if killed, avenged. While either a son or daughter may win distinction by rendering such assistance, normally only a father benefits. The exceptions prove this rule.  The one scenario in which the beneficiaries in this pattern are mothers is when the father is immortal and therefore not in need of his progeny’s assistance. In this case benefit defaults to the remaining mortal parent, the mother.

Presenter:  David Obermiller

Title:   "Submissive" and "Docile" Okinawans and their Resistance to the US Occupation

Time and Place:  December 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


In the twenty-seven years of the US military occupation of Okinawa, Orientalism (a Western idealogy of "Other" that constructed an imaginary view of the Orient as backwards, primitive, savage, feminine, mysterious, etc.) was a salient dimension of the how occupation officials viewed Okinawans.  In this context, occupation officials treated Okinawans, at best, in a patronizing and paternalistic manner, not to mention believing the islanders were docile, submissive, and lazy.  Okinawans, however, rarely lived up to US stereotypes as their resistance to the occupation was as pervasive as American Orientalism.  This paper examines two movies, Daniel Mann’s, Teahouse of the August Moon (1956) and Amon Miyamoto’s Beat (1998).  Both movies represent an outsider’s perspective of occupied Okinawa as  Daniel Mann, an American, and Amon Miyamoto, a mainland Japanese, offer a sympathetic view of Okinawa as they illustrate the occupation’s corrosive effects as well as Okinawan struggle against the occupation.  In both films, race, gender, and class are dominant in the interactions the American interlopers and the Okinawans.  While both films attempt to provide agency for Okinawans, at the same time, both productions suffer from an orientation that ironically reifies what both movies are attempting to combat, Orientalistic constructs of Okinawa.





Spring 2012 Schedule

Presenter:  Suzanne Wilson

Title:  Armies to Warlords: Recent Right-Wing Violence in Latin America

Time and Place:  February 17, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


This talk analyzes two recent, prominent cases of organized, right-wing violence in Latin America.  It compares the Colombian paramilitaries at their peak (1997-2002) and the Guatemalan counterinsurgency squads in the 1980s and 1990s.  The two cases share similarities, including justifications for violence and deployment of public terror.  The Colombian paramilitaries, however, had a national, organized profile, integration with criminal groups, and a degree of autonomy from the state that Guatemalan groups did not attain.


Presenter:  Ana Adams

Title:   From Seville to Peru, Chile, and Back: an Unknown Travel Account by Fray Pedro de Manzanares from Around 1595- 1602.

Time and Place:  March 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


This talk will focus my research on an unknown and previously unpublished hand-written travel account by Pedro de Manzanares, one of the first Franciscans in Chile. This narrative, in essence, a reconnaissance report for commercial opportunities, provides the perspective of a traveling church member to Chile in the first years of its settlement with descriptions that systematically account contemporary commercial relations and opportunities on the route between Spain and South America. Manzanares’ letter gives us a nuanced understanding of the workings of the Spanish colonial system evidencing how the economical and spiritual relate to each other. His perception and representation of the natives also points to the biases and agendas of the individuals who traveled to the Americas. Manzanares’ account offers a valuable point of view of how the members of the colonial system viewed the Americas and the Americans. This document is of importance to the early history of Chile and more specifically, to the history of the Franciscans in that country.

Presenter:  Dwight Stoll

Title:  Impacts of a multi-disciplinary approach to training undergraduates in analytical chemistry: Adventures in the analysis of environmental contaminants and chemopreventive compounds in foods

Time and Place:  March 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center




Presenter:  Don Scheese

Title:  A Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine: A Tale of Two Experiences

Time and Place:  April 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


This Shop Talk will be part travel memoir, part social-cultural commentary, part primer on the Fulbright Scholar experience based on four months of living & traveling in Ukraine.

Presenter:  Asli Ilgit

Title:   Diaspora as "Agent of Influence"? American-Turks in Turkish-American Relations

Time and Place: 
April 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Interpretive Center


In February 2010 the Turkish government invited members of Turkish diaspora across Europe to a conference in Turkey to discuss about their role as the “agents of Turkey’s influence.” While this official event received mixed reactions from Turks living abroad, it was a signal of Turkish government’s changing relations with its citizens abroad and its growing involvement with Turkish diaspora. Turkish population abroad is now more important symbolically and numerically than it was before, yet its role in Turkish foreign policy is still an

understudied topic. By focusing on a case study, Israeli blockade of Gaza and its seizure of Turkish flotilla in the summer of 2010, this study addresses the changing relations between Turkey and its citizens abroad and explores the mobilization of overseas Turkish population around one of the most controversial foreign policy crises between Turkey and Israel in the past years.




A Call For Papers

The Shop Talk coordinator (Paul Saulnier) would like to solicit abstracts for the Shop Talk series.  These 20-30 minute presentations allow Gustavus scholars to share their original research/art and enthusiasm.  A title, brief abstract (electronic format), and A/V requirements should be sent to Paul (PSAUL@GUSTAVUS.EDU).   If the current Shop Talk schedule does not have any vacancies do not hesitate to contact Paul to reserve a future date (a waiting list is maintained).