Lecture Series

 Fall 2017

Lectures take place during Common Hour, 12:15p.m. - 1:15p.m. in Dangremond Family Commons.
A light lunch is provided.

September 28:

Fence – A Topopoetic Exploration of Place and Connection

Tim Cresswell, Dean of the Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Professor of American Studies

Following a short introduction exploring the intersection of place and creative writing I will read my poetry sequence “Fence”, accompanied by images from the archipelago of Svalbard in the High Arctic. The sequence interweaves my own reflections on a two week trip around the main island on the sailing boat Noorderlicht in 2011 with passages derived from the journals of two previous visitors to the islands – Robert Fotherby, who was sent by King James 1st to claim the islands  (and associated whaling trade) for Great Britain in 1613 and 1614, and Leonie D’Aunet, the first woman to set foot on the islands in 1838. The sequence explores, in creative form, the intersections of place (particularly land marked off by a fence on a remote island) and connections creative by mobility (particularly the whale trade and tourism.

November 16:

Connemara Paintings: Excavating Place, Constructing Memory

Joseph Byrne, Professor of Fine Arts

In this illustrated artist’s talk, I will describe an ongoing landscape painting project based on work done on-site in the Connemara region of western Ireland.  In addition to my working process, I will discuss the evolution and motivations for this project, which are both personal—this region is where my maternal grandmother was born—and conceptual, rooted in the geological and cultural history and contemporary characteristics of this austere landscape. Finally, I will talk about my philosophy of landscape painting as a way of making works that are less descriptions of place, than ones that create an experience of place.

November 30:

Quick, Small, and Complicated: Meeting the Challenges of Single Cell Measurements of Stress Responses

Michelle L. Kovarik, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Cells experience a wide range of stressful situations, including nutrient deprivation and exposure to reactive oxygen species. Interestingly, these stressful situations evoke a wide range of responses in individual cells. This heterogeneity in stress responses may be adaptive since a population of genetically identical cells is able to test a range of responses. To study this phenomenon, we must measure individual living cells, which are limited in volume, contain complex biochemical mixtures, and respond dynamically to their environment. These challenges frame interesting analytical problems that we are addressing using molecular tools and microfluidic technology.

December 7:

Remembering to Remember

Sarah A. Raskin, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience